Since she arrived from Starbucks (SBUX) in 2008, Christine Day has done a remarkable job building Lululemon (LULU). Once just a retailer for yoga enthusiasts, Lululemon is now a fast-growing lifestyle brand. The stock has more than tripled in three years.
Day has never put herself in the spotlight, but Fortune's online readers clearly recognize how effective she is. The results of our just-released Businessperson of the Year poll show that Day trounced Groupon (GRPN) CEO Andrew Mason in the first round of voting. Second round, Day beat Coca-Cola (KO) CEO Muhtar Kent. Third round, Day earned more votes that Google (GOOG) CEO Larry Page.
Even she was surprised. Day wrote this to me in an email today: "We have been so busy with board prep and budget planning that I did not even know I was in the running until the third bracket! The Fortune Women's page is linked to my Facebook page. So when you posted my name, it showed up on my page. My daughter saw it and started a "vote for my Mom" campaign. I got her update in my e-mail...I about fell off my chair when I saw that I was in bracket 3 against Larry Page!"
Day lost to Amazon's (AMZN) Jeff Bezos in the fourth round. And who bested Bezos to be the No. 1 best Businessperson of the Year, according to our readers? Warren Buffett, who continues to expand Berkshire Hathaway (BRKA).
Meanwhile, Fortune's editors chose Starbucks' CEO Howard Schultz as the magazine's Businessperson of the Year. Read David Kaplan's terrific cover story here. Christine Day, by the way, started at Starbucks as Schultz's assistant. Over her 20 years there, she rose to head of the Asia-Pacific group. Nothing like learning from the master.
Evelyn Lauder, who died of complications from non-genetic ovarian cancer on Saturday, had a swarm of close friends throughout her life. Yet many close friends who attended her funeral today did not have a clue that she would die so soon.
Classic Evelyn. "It was never about her. It was always about you," Liz Robbins, a prominent Washington lobbyist, told me this morning over breakfast before she headed to the invitation-only MOREPatricia Sellers - Nov 14, 2011 1:22 PM ET
The best CEOs, I've learned in my 27 years at Fortune, come to the job with a deep-seated passion and a very personal view of what they want to accomplish.
PepsiCo's Indra Nooyi may be struggling lately. Yes, investors are impatient with her healthy-products strategy, the stock is down, and the Pepsi boss dropped to No. 2 behind Kraft Foods (KFT) CEO Irene Rosenfeld on the 2011 Most Powerful Women list.
But MOREPatricia Sellers - Nov 10, 2011 11:14 AM ET
A look back at the way the restaurant chain handled the deaths of two CEOs and found the right man for the job.
I wrote this article in 2005, a few months after Jim Skinner became CEO of McDonald's (MCD). The piece didn't run in the magazine because of space constraints, but this tale, presented here as it was written six years ago, remains as relevant as ever. The story appears MOREPatricia Sellers - Aug 23, 2011 5:00 AM ET
The 2011 Fortune Most Powerful Women list will be announced on September 29. Meantime, a few stars on the 2010 MPW list are on Fortune's Executive Dream Team--a fantasy all-star lineup of managers, selected by Fortune editors with assists from recruiters and other business know-it-alls.
I use the term know-it-all with endearment because the selections, revealed today, are good. The non-executive chair of choice: Anne Mulcahy, the former CEO of Xerox MOREPatricia Sellers - Aug 22, 2011 3:55 PM ET
In every successful career there is a moment: You could quit. But you resist, wisely.
For Andrea Jung, the chairman and CEO of Avon Products (AVP), this moment happened right after college, when she was in the management training program at Bloomingdale's. All day everyday, there she was in the stockroom, switching vendor hangers for store hangers on thousands of pieces of clothes. "I remember calling my parents around Thanksgiving and MOREPatricia Sellers - Aug 9, 2011 2:20 PM ET
The McDonald's (MCD) boss behind the healthy upgrade to its U.S. menu is practicing what she preaches: She recently lost 90 pounds.
Jan Fields, who started at McDonald's 33 years ago cooking fries and is now the fast food chain's U.S. president, was soon to turn 55 when, she says, "I woke up one day and said, "Oh my God, how did I gain this much weight?"
Like millions of her customers MOREPatricia Sellers - Aug 2, 2011 3:38 PM ET
Most women don't go for it, career-wise, like the guys do. Sukhinder Singh Cassidy breaks that mold. A onetime star at Google (GOOG), where was president of Asia-Pacific and Latin American operations, she has restlessly rotated through the startup world--from Amazon.com (AMZN) to OpenTV to News Corp.'s (NWS) BSkyB to Yodlee, a financial-services company that she co-founded, to Polyvore, a fashion site where she was CEO last year until quitting MOREPatricia Sellers - Aug 1, 2011 1:17 PM ET
Given that she started with a trunk show in Austin, Texas, in 2003 and generated more than $100 million in revenues last year, Stella & Dot CEO Jessica Herrin chose a fitting theme for her 2011 confab of sales reps: "Women Behaving Boldly."
Herrin was just one of the bold business-builders on a panel that I led at the Stella & Dot event, called Hoopla!, in San Francisco in early July. MOREPatricia Sellers - Jul 26, 2011 10:39 AM ET
I recently got a call from Lauren Fleischer, a senior at the University of Pennsylvania and head of Wharton Women. I knew Wharton Women, having once given a talk about leadership and success to this student group. While I had never met Lauren, I was mightily impressed with her as she interviewed me for her research paper on that very topic -- leadership and success. In fact, I told her MOREPatricia Sellers - May 16, 2011 1:13 PM ET
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