Company: Swatch Group
Nayla Hayek was elected chairwoman of the Swatch Group, the
largest manufacturer of finished watches in the world, in July 2010.
Hayek, whose father co-founded the company, has been an
active member of the board ever since her appointment in 1995. When her father
died in 2010 he was ranked the 232nd richest person in the world with an
estimated wealth of $3.9bn.
Swatch’s importance lies not just in the fact that it is
such a huge manufacturer; it makes most of the parts that make other Swiss
watches tick. The firm has been on the
acquisition war path in recent years; its stable of brands includes Breguet,
Blancpain, Omega, Longines and Tissot. In January, the watch giant announced it
had acquired the Harry Winston Diamond Corp.’s luxury goods operation in a deal
valued at as much as $1bn. Hayek splits her time between Biel, Switzerland, and
Dubai. She is an international Arabian horse judge.