Anna Sutherland Bissell, CEO, President and Chair of the Board for the Bissell Corporation (1846-1934) Following the death of her husband Melville Bissell in 1889, Anna Bissell took over as the CEO of BISSELL, making her one of America’s first female corporate CEOs. By 1899, she created the largest corporation in the world of its kind. She was known as a creative executive who also showed concern for employees. She developed employee compensation insurance and pension plans, and avoided lay-offs during The Great Depression. Anna Bissell served as president and CEO of BISSELL until 1919 and the chair of the board until 1934. She was devoted to her five children and helping the less fortunate. She served on the board of Blodgett Home for Children and the Red Cross.