Facebook COO (FB) Sheryl Sandberg (No. 5) and Yahoo (YHOO) CEO Marissa Mayer (whose turnaround effort has doubled the stock price and elevated her to No. 9) keep on climbing up the annual list, which Fortune launched in 1998.
So much for the notion that women aren't gaining power in corporate America. Fifteen years ago, there were just two female CEOs of Fortune 500 companies. Today, there are 21. And in 1998, it took $1 billion or so to make Fortune's MPW rankings. A place on the 2013 list requires around $6 billion or more, depending on the health of the woman's business. The highest-ranking newcomer: Lynn Good, CEO of the largest U.S. electric utility, Duke Energy (DUK), at No. 16.
Fortune ranks only women leaders in business, so Federal Reserve Chief nominee Janet Yellen would not make this list. Nor would a super-philanthropist such as Melinda Gates. Fortune's criteria for ranking include: the size and the importance of the woman's business in the global economy, the health and direction of the business, the arc of the woman's career, and social and cultural influence.
That latter factor boosted Sandberg this year. Her best-seller, Lean In, has sold more than one million copies since it was released last spring.
There's never been anyone quite like Sandberg--billionaire best-selling author, world-famous feminist, and operating chief of one of the most important tech companies. This is why we put her on the cover of the 2013 Fortune MPW issue. If you want to understand Sandberg's power and what she really does at Facebook, read my colleague Miguel Helft's smart and insightful profile in the new issue. It's the best MPW issue ever.
At the Fortune Most Powerful Women Summit last week, I was standing in the green room with Karen Hughes, once a top adviser to President George W. Bush and now vice-chair at PR giant Burson-Marsteller. "So many of the lessons that the business leaders are talking about here are applicable to Washington," Hughes said to me, reciting quotes from the on-stage interviews with CEOs such as IBM's Ginny Rometty and MOREPatricia Sellers - Oct 8, 2012 1:06 PM ET
The just released Fortune Most Powerful Women list includes more Fortune 500 CEOs than ever. And next week's Most Powerful Women Summit includes plenty of them--Indra Nooyi of PepsiCo (PEP), Ellen Kullman of DuPont (DD), Pat Woertz of ADM (ADM), Denise Morrison of Campbell Soup (CPB)...plus one guy who manages to secure an invitation to the Summit every year. Warren Buffett. Fortune senior editor at large Carol Loomis will interview MOREPatricia Sellers - Sep 30, 2011 2:40 PM ET
by Patricia Sellers
On Monday we asked, "Are girls afraid of money?"
America (and beyond) voted and...I don't know what to conclude except I know that the question stirred the pot.
In the heated debate that ensued, I particularly appreciated the viewpoint of Matt in Springfield, VA, who said he wasn't surprised by the results of the experiment in which five $20 bills were placed randomly on classroom desks, and female college students MOREPatricia Sellers - Apr 22, 2011 3:35 PM ET
by Patricia Sellers
Here we are in 2011, and how odd is it that only a dozen Fortune 500 companies have female CEOs?
This despite plenty of evidence that placing women in key positions pays off for investors.
Maybe it's coincidental -- at least it's worth noting -- that two of the Dow 30 companies that delivered the best stock-market gains in 2010 are run by women.
One is Dupont (DD), whose CEO, Ellen MOREPatricia Sellers - Jan 4, 2011 11:07 AM ET
Leadership, essentially, is about inspiring others to carry on a mission. The leadership opportunity compounds in a connected, viral, global community.
Here's how leadership can spread: In 2006, Fortune and the U.S. State Department launched the Global Women Leaders Mentoring Partnership. Every year since then, we've selected two dozen or more of the best and brightest young women leaders in developing countries and invited them to the U.S. to shadow women MOREPatricia Sellers - Aug 10, 2009 12:43 PM ET
The ouster of Bank of America's (BAC) chief risk officer, Amy Brinkley, was inevitable, as I wrote in "Behind the shakeup at BofA" on Friday.
And as I mentioned in that piece, two years ago, Fortune featured Brinkley and five other execs in "One Step Away," about rising-star Most Powerful Women on track to be CEOs of Fortune 500 companies someday. So what's happened to the other five?
One woman made it MOREPatricia Sellers - Jun 8, 2009 12:31 PM ET
by Patricia Sellers
Procter & Gamble (PG) lost its president today: Susan Arnold, a 29-year veteran who drove the company's high-margin beauty business to $20 billion in sales and went on to oversee all of P&G's brands, stepped down one day after her 55th birthday.
"My dad retired at 62," Arnold said, phoning this afternoon on her way to a Walt Disney (DIS) board meeting. "Then he got really sick. You know MOREPatricia Sellers - Mar 9, 2009 2:57 PM ET
This year started off with a bang - at least in terms of coming and goings of powerful people. Which Postcards is largely about.
This week, I told you about Liz Dolan, once Nike's (NKE) global marketing boss, joining Oprah Winfrey to be CMO of her new venture, the OWN cable network. And yesterday, my colleague Jessica Shambora wrote about Ellen Kullman, No. 15 on the Fortune Most Powerful Women list, MOREPatricia Sellers - Jan 9, 2009 2:56 PM ET
by Jessica Shambora
When Ellen Kullman stepped into the CEO role at DuPont (DD) this month, she became the 13th female Fortune 500 CEO. That's a milestone. But Kullman's ascension passed with little fanfare. She addressed employees in a year-end video on DuPont's intranet site but has yet to address them as a group or to send out a company-wide email since the start of the year.
Why so quiet? Well, unlike MOREJessica Shambora, Writer-Reporter - Jan 8, 2009 2:31 PM ET
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