Most Powerful Women

Marissa Mayer's unprecedented amazing trifecta

November 21, 2013: 12:16 PM ET

Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer and six other star powerful women make Fortune's Businessperson of the Year list.

Elon Musk, one of the greatest disruptors in tech since Steve Jobs, is Fortune's 2013 Businessperson of the Year, announced this morning. Musk is the innovator behind three major startups: Tesla Motors (TSLA), SpaceEx and SolarCity (SCTY). An audacious, tenacious triple threat. But another technology exec scores a trifecta that no one else in Fortune history ever has: Marissa Mayer is the only person ever to make the Businessperson of the Year list (No. 10), Fortune's Most Powerful Women rankings (at No. 8), and our 40 Under 40. (No. 1).Mayer

The Yahoo (YHOO) CEO rates x3 because she is the first CEO in a parade of bosses to produce a turnaround strategy that appears to be working. Since joining Yahoo from Google (GOOG) in July of 2012, the 38-year-old engineer has bought two dozen startups (including Tumblr for $1.1 billion), recast the corporate culture, and lifted Yahoo's user base to 800 million--while doubling Yahoo's stock.

Besides Mayer, six other Fortune MPW earned a place on the Businessperson of the Year list. Burberry (BURBY) chief Angela Ahrendts, who is moving to Apple (AAPL) next year, is No. 4. TJX (TJX) CEO Carol Meyrowitz ranks No. 17. Harriet Green, who saved British-based Thomas Cook (TCKGY) from the brink, is No. 23. Carolyn McCall, CEO of low-cost European airline EasyJet (ESYJD), is No. 30. DuPont (DD) CEO Ellen Kullman ranks No. 43. And self-made Chinese real-estate mogul Zhang Xin is No. 46.

Meanwhile, we had some fun ranking the 25 Most Powerful Female TV Characters--applying the Fortune MPW ranking criteria to the stars of hits like Scandal and Nashville and Mad Men. Which of Sterling Cooper's femme fatales, Peggy Olson or Joan Holloway, possesses more power? Fortune tells.

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About This Author
Pattie Sellers
Pattie Sellers
Senior Editor at Large, Fortune
Executive Director of MPW/Live Content, Time Inc.

Pattie Sellers has written more than 20 Fortune cover stories including "Marissa Mayer: Ready to Rumble at Yahoo," "Muhtar Kent's New Coke," "Oprah's Next Act", "The $100 Billion Woman" (Melinda Gates), and "Gone with the Wind" (Ted Turner). She co-founded Fortune Most Powerful Women and oversees the Fortune MPW Summit, the preeminent gathering of women leaders in business and beyond—and programs such as Fortune MPW Entrepreneurs and the Fortune-U.S. State Department Global Women Leaders Mentoring Partnership. Pattie also develops Live Content across Time Inc. Her blog, Postcards, is about how power players lead and navigate their careers. Pattie won Time Inc.'s prestigious MVP award for her performance in 2012.

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The Fortune/U.S. State Department Global Women Leaders Mentoring Partnership brings rising-star women from countries around the world to the U.S. for three-week mentorships with participants of the annual Fortune Most Powerful Women Summit - among them Ursula Burns of Xerox, Laura Lang of Time Inc., Marissa Mayer of Yahoo, and Tory Burch.

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