Fortune Ranks the 50 Most Powerful Women in American Business.
Who Aren't in Traditional Corporate Positions
NEW YORK, Sept. 21 /PRNewswire/ -- Carly Fiorina, the group president of Lucent Technologies' Global Service Provider Business, leads FORTUNE's inaugural list of the 50 Most Powerful Women in American Business. Overseeing the most successful IPO in U.S. history, and heading a division that will generate some $19 billion in revenues this year, Fiorina captured the top slot because of her enormous clout in one of the hottest companies in the most important industry in American business -- telecommunications. In the October 12 issue of FORTUNE, senior writer Patricia Sellers identifies today's most influential female power brokers and the challenges that face them as women in business.
Rounding out the top five positions on the list are Oprah Winfrey (#2), Chairman and CEO, Harpo Entertainment Group; Heidi Miller (#3), Chief Financial Officer, Travelers Group; Shelly Lazarus (#4), Chairman and CEO, Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide; and Sherry Lansing (#5), Chairman, Motion Picture Group, Paramount Pictures. High profile businesswomen, including Martha Stewart (#11), Rainwater president Darla Moore (#19) and Warnaco CEO Linda Wachner (#34) made the list, while some lesser known names, such as Merck CFO Judy Lewent (#13) and Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom partner Sheila Birnbaum (#21), received high rankings.
In establishing criteria by which to measure power, FORTUNE took into consideration revenues and profits controlled, influence inside the company, the importance of the business in the global economy and its impact on American culture. Politics and the nonprofit sector were excluded from consideration.
There is a difference of opinion among the top 50 powerful women about what power means. "Power is the privilege to influence," says Avon president Andrea Jung (#8). "It's an unbelievable responsibility to influence decisions... and most important to me, people's careers and livelihoods."
"I get no thrill out of being powerful," says Ogilvy & Mather CFO Shelly Lazarus while Enron vice chairman Rebecca Mark (#14) says that she "was born comfortable with power." According to FORTUNE's Sellers, for women, much more than for men, power is about choices and balance. For some of those women, writes Sellers, finding balance comes down to trading professional power for peace of mind.
Many women on the list are former top-ranked executives who left their positions to pursue entrepreneurial urges. "Now they're flying solo," reports Sellers. "And they are creating a sort of parallel universe of power outside the traditional corporate orbit." Geraldine Laybourne (#20) is one such woman. Having built Nickelodeon and running Disney's cable TV division, Laybourne recently founded her own company to provide programming for women for television and the Internet. "Real power is creating stuff," says Laybourne.
A look at the industry breakdown of FORTUNE's powerful women shows that the majority work in advertising, media and entertainment, and publishing. Finance and technology are well represented, but there is a lack of top women at blue-chip firms like IBM, Dell, Compaq and Intel. Only three of the women on the list are in retail.
Similarities among the group abound. All the women on the list avoided the traditional "female" career paths in working their way up the corporate ladder. "Don't think of yourself as a woman in business," advises Carly Fiorina. Most of the women are the eldest of their siblings and grew up in the Northeast. Nearly 70% attended coed college, but only seven of the women were in sororities. Only 16 of the 50 play golf, and 10 were born under Leo, the sign of born leaders.
The October 12 issue of FORTUNE is available on newsstands beginning September 28. For more information or to schedule an interview with a FORTUNE writer or editor, contact Susan Brown at 212-522-4071. "The 50 Most Powerful Women in American Business" and other FORTUNE stories are available at www.fortune.com.
FORTUNE'S 50 MOST POWERFUL WOMEN IN AMERICAN BUSINESS
October 12, 1998
RANK NAME TITLE COMPANY 1 CARLY FIORINA Group President, Lucent Technologies Global Service Provider Business 2 OPRAH WINFREY Chairman and CEO Harpo Entertainment
3 HEIDI MILLER CFO Travelers Group 4 SHELLY LAZARUS Chairman and CEO Ogilvy & Mather
5 SHERRY LANSING Chairman, Motion Picture Group Paramount Pictures 6 JILL BARAD Chairman and CEO Mattel 7 MARILYN CARLSON CEO, President, NELSON and Vice Chairman Carlson Cos. 8 ANDREA JUNG President and C00 Avon Products 9 ABBY JOSEPH Co-chair, Goldman Sachs COHEN Investment Policy Committee 10 MARJORIE SCARDINO CEO Pearson PLC 11 MARTHA STEWART Chairman and CEO Martha Stewart
12 PAT RUSSO Executive VP, Lucent Technologies
Corporate Strategy and
Operations 13 JUDY LEWENT Senior Vice President Merck and CFO 14 REBECCA MARK Vice Chairman Enron 15 LOIS JULIBER EVP and COO, Developed Markets Colgate-Palmolive 16 KAREN KATEN President,
U.S. Pharmaceuticals Group Pfizer
17 ANN MOORE President People magazine 18 JUDY MCGRATH President MTV and M2 19 DARLA MOORE President Rainwater Inc. 20 GERALDINE Chairman and CEO Oxygen Media LAYBOURNE 21 SHELIA BIRNBAUM Partner Skadden Arps Slate
Meagher & Flom
22 CAROLYN TICKNOR General Manager, Hewlett-Packard
LaserJet Solutions Grp. 23 PATTI MANUEL President and COO, Long-Distance Division Sprint 24 ANN WINBLAD Partner Hummer Winblad
25 CATHLEEN BLACK President Hearst Magazines 26 ORIT GADIESH Chairman Bain & Co. 27 CLAIRE FARLEY VP and President, Texaco
North American Production
28 JAMIE GORELICK Vice Chairman Fannie Mae 29 ABIGAIL JOHNSON Senior VP, Equity Division Fidelity Investments 30 ANN FUDGE Executive VP, Kraft
Coffee and Cereals Division
31 DEBORAH WILLINGHAM Vice President, Microsoft
Enterprise Customer Unit 32 JEANNE JACKSON CEO Banana Republic 33 MARTHA INGRAM Chairman Ingram Industries 34 LINDA WACHNER Chairman and CEO Warnaco 35 LUCY FISHER Vice Chairman Columbia Tri-Star
Motion Pictures (Sony)
36 CAROL BARTZ Chairman and CEO Autodesk 37 KATHERINE DWYER President, Consumer Revlon Products USA 38 PATRICIA FILI- President ABC Television Network KRUSHEL 39 ESTHER DYSON CEO EDventure Holdings 40 BRIDGET MACASKILL President and CEO Oppenheimer Funds 41 JUDITH ESTRIN Senior VP and Cisco Systems
Chief Technology Officer
42 JEANNINE RIVET EVP, Health Plan Business United Healthcare 43 LINDA SRERE President and CEO Young & Rubicam, NY 44 BRENDA BARNES Director 45 MARION SANDLER Co-Chairman and co-CEO Golden West Financial 46 ANTHEA DISNEY Chairman and CEO News America
47 ANNE SWEENEY President Disney/ABC Cable
Networks 48 SYLVIA RHONE Chairman Elektra Entertainment
49 TERESA BECK President American Stores
50 ELLEN MARRAM Former CEO Tropicana