10 Hottest CEOs’ Wives of 2010

Money and power. These keys to any city also count as the keys to many a girl’s heart – not to say panties! – and no one knows this better than the chief execs of some of the big names in big business. Boy do these big guys get babes. Some may sneer and call them fat cats or worse, but these corporate bosses have bigger fish to fry. And short of keeping their global empires on top of the game, bedding and wedding the hottest hotties on the planet has got to figure pretty high on the list of priorities – at least if this catwalk call of chick-tastic loveliness is anything to go by. Here are our top 10 most babe-elicious CEOs’ wives.

10. Erica Packer

Despite failing fortunes and a mug akin to a monkey’s, James Packer, as Australia’s third richest man and the head of a global gambling empire, still carries clout in the world of commerce, and with power and wealth comes that most precious of commodities: babes. Erica Packer – born Baxter – sure counts as one of those. James may have made a few bad decisions to tarnish the famous Packer name (admitting responsibility for the collapse of telecommunications company One.Tel is a case in point) but tying the knot with the lovely Erica wasn’t one of them. And while the Australian model and singer hasn’t proven a success in pop, she knows how to pop the cork in style: her 2007 wedding in Antibes cost Aus$15 million. She’s also popped out two mini-Packers with her husband.

9. Melanie Craft

Next up is Melanie Craft, the thinking businessman’s crumpet because she’s a romance novelist (and everyone knows all romance novelists are sharp cookies). That’s not to say Craft isn’t hot – far from it – and clearly Larry Ellison saw something in the girl from Pittsburgh besides her way with words when he took her for his (fourth) wife in 2003. As the co-founder and CEO of software giant Oracle, Ellison is the sixth richest person on the planet. So, bad facial hair notwithstanding, we kind of assume he could have anyone he wants. Still you’ve got to admit, Melanie’s pretty cute. Does US$28 billion buy you happiness? It certainly doesn’t harm your chances of getting brains and beauty all in one goodie bag. Ellis’s friend, Steve Jobs, of Apple fame, was their wedding photographer, by the way.

8. Wendi Deng

Chinese born American businesswoman Wendi Deng needs scarcely less introduction than her husband, Australian News Corporation Chairman and CEO Rupert Murdoch. In 1999 a newly appointed vice-president at Asia’s STAR TV, Deng got hitched with the media mogul just 17 days after Rupert’s divorce from his second wife Anna. Murdoch was 68 at the time, with Deng just 30, but the age gap hasn’t proven a barrier (if that ain’t an oxymoron) and the Manhattan-based couple have since produced two daughters. Murdoch has been widely satirized as a cynical and unscrupulous operator on a global scale, but we’ll almost forgive the old fox these foibles in view of his taste in women. We definitely reckon Ms Deng qualifies as pretty hot media property.

7. Kathy Freston

Self-help author Kathy Freston makes another bookish yet babelicious addition to this list. Yes, we’re encroaching into cougar territory – but that’s because we’re beasts who don’t mind being preyed on if the predator stays in as good shape as Kathy. Neither does TV exec Tom Freston, whose name the wellness expert took when she became his bride back in 1999. A one time model, Kathy promotes a body/mind/spirit approach to healthy living, and the first part of that holy triangle certainly gets our vote. One of MTV’s creators and later boss of Viacom, Tom carries plenty of clout in the entertainment industry, and when Oprah Winfrey recruited him to head her cable network, it’s no coincidence Kathy made a few appearances on her show. That must’ve kept him out of the doghouse for a while.

6. Kirsty Bertarelli

Kirsty Bertarelli may also be erring on the side of MILF-dom, but the former Miss UK (1988) still banks as a babe in our book. Born of a major ceramics making family, the silver blonde with the body to boot has, in Ernesto Bertarelli, a husband who in 2009 ranked 64 in Forbes’s annual list of the world’s wealthiest people, with a personal fortune estimated at US$10 billion. The Swiss billionaire and two-time America’s Cup winner was the owner of biotech giant Serono until 2007, and since splitting his stake with his sister, now spends his time with Kirsty and their three children on the shores of Lake Geneva. Married for 10 years, the couple would seem a model of beautiful marital bliss for any aspiring young business graduates. Ka-ching meets schuh-wing!

5. Salma Hayek

After that table-top snake dance in 1997’s From Dusk Till Dawn, plus starring roles in numerous other Hollywood movies, who can argue with French PPR chief exec François-Henri Pinault’s choice of a bride in Salma Hayek? As the head of a luxury brands holding company, Pinault is worth a colossally cool US$16.9 billion (Forbes ranked 39th), but in Hayek he’s got the best thing to come out of Mexico since burritos and midget wrestling. Not that it’s been an easy ride. After giving birth to Pinault’s daughter, Valentina Paloma, in 2007, Salma and her husband-to-be called off the engagement. They later made up and were married twice in 2009 – on Valentine’s Day in Paris and then in April the same year in Venice. Two of Europe’s most romantic cities in as many months. Nice.

4. Georgina Chapman

Harvey Weinstein is known as a ruthless movie mogul and all round scary dude. The Miramax co-founder and joint head of the Weinstein Co is no stranger to making tough decisions, but after leaving his wife in 2004, plumbing for the hot prospect of gorgeous Georgina Chapman – 24 years his junior – must have been one of the easier choices the beardy tycoon has made in his career. The English fashion designer, actress and ex-model ticks all the boxes you’d want ticked in a wife and herself comes from good stock as the daughter of a millionaire businessman and organic coffee company owner. Married on 2007, Chapman and Weinstein are expecting their first child in September 2010. Let’s hope it takes after its mother – at least in the facial hair department.

3. Kristy Hinze

James H. Clark is the founder of Silicon Graphics and Netscape. In 2009 he married Kristy Hinze, an Australian model, actress and TV host who’s appeared everywhere from Sports Illustrated to America’s Next Top Model. Did we mention that she’s a smoking hot blond bombshell? Did we need to? Smooth move, James. At 34 years Hinze’s senior, the Aussie e-entrepreneur is unlikely to find a bride any younger without it looking a little weird. Of her 64-year-old-billionaire husband, Heinze has said: “To me, it was different to hang out with someone with something to say that was so interesting and important and who was truly, incredibly intelligent. He’s handsome and has so much charisma – and he’s so funny.” Keep her close, James. She might be lying.

2. Oleksandra Nikolayenko-Ruffin

Phil Ruffin features on this list as sugar daddy supremo, for in Oleksandra Nikolayenko he not only has a wife with an unpronounceable name, but a smoking hot Eastern European beauty who is an impressive 46 years younger than himself. The 70-something tycoon with fingers in business interests ranging from greyhound tracks to oil production found another piece of pie worth investing in when he married the Ukrainian stunner back in 2008 – proof that age is no barrier if you’ve got a wodge full of cash. As the winner of more beauty awards than any other woman in Ukraine, no less than eight titles, Oleksandra knows a thing or two about beauty. Still, undeterred, old Phil not only wed her but promptly fathered her child – and his fourth. Hot damn, he’s a hell of a man!

1. Melania Knauss-Trump

Donald Trump may have one of the worst combovers in business, but – never afraid to trade in an older model for a fresh chassis – you can’t argue with his line in wives. First there was Ivana, then there was Marla Maples, and now there’s the hottest of the lot: the lovely Melania Knauss-Trump. After several years on New York’s high society scene, the beautiful, not to say generously endowed Slovenian model wed the real estate billionaire in 2005, famously wearing a $200,000 dress by Christian Dior. A year later Knauss-Trump gave birth to a baby boy – and Donald’s fifth – Barron William. Bad choice of name. Good looking choice of wife. Melania’s a sexy socialite who takes some trumping, and the 64-year-old mogul would be a fool to tell her, ‘You’re fired.’

Honourable mention goes to…

…Stephanie Seymour – the former supermodel with the flowing brunette locks and delectable 33-23-33 measurements. If only she’d managed to keep the knot tied with publishing entrepreneur Peter Brant, but alas the couple are currently in the throes of a divorce, which makes the sumptuous Ms Seymour exempt from this list. Damn shame. She’d have been a contender for our number one spot.

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