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.
Meg Whitman's first report card as CEO of Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) comes this afternoon when the company announces fourth-quarter earnings.
In the 60 days since she took the job, Whitman has settled on a strategy (keep HP in the PC business), worked to raise employee morale (terrible after three CEO ousters), and lifted the stock (up 12% since her appointment). But the former eBay (EBAY) chief, who lost her race for governor MOREPatricia Sellers - Nov 21, 2011 2:09 PM ET
Ginni Rometty is the next CEO of IBM, the company announced this afternoon.
With that news comes a stunning stat: America's two largest tech companies will be headed by women.
Meg Whitman, who built eBay (EBAY), became CEO of Hewlett-Packard last month.
H-P (HPQ) is No. 11 on the Fortune 500. IBM (IBM) is No. 18.
Both women spoke at the recent Fortune Most Powerful Women Summit. Rometty's main message (and one that Whitman MOREPatricia Sellers - Oct 25, 2011 5:41 PM ET
What happens when influential women like Meg Whitman, Ellen Kullman - and a guy: Warren Buffett - get together? They share smart ideas and - forge unexpected new relationships.
FORTUNE -- Big topics -- the global economy, presidential politics, boardroom drama -- got plenty of airtime at Fortune's annual Most Powerful Women Summit in early October. Meg Whitman (No. 9), the new CEO of Hewlett-Packard (HPQ), outlined plans for calming the waters at MOREPatricia Sellers - Oct 25, 2011 5:00 AM ET
With Meg Whitman nabbing the CEO job at Hewlett-Packard--and the four women at the bottom of this list (below) new to the top job this year--America now has 15 female Fortune 500 CEOs.
Not a number to be proud of, but hey, it's a record and it is progress nonetheless.
Here are the women at the helm--including the rank of their companies on the Fortune 500:
11 Meg Whitman, Hewlett-Packard (HPQ)
39 Pat Woertz, MOREPatricia Sellers - Sep 23, 2011 2:00 PM ET
Meg Whitman is the new CEO of Hewlett-Packard (HPQ). Not interim chief. This is Whitman's for-real next big gig.
And it is big indeed, given that the storied Silicon Valley company has lurched from chief to chief to chief ever since the board, in 1999, eased out Lew Platt and recruited Carly Fiorina from Lucent (ALU).
Fiorina was the first No. 1 on the Fortune Most Powerful Women list, at the top MOREPatricia Sellers - Sep 22, 2011 5:05 PM ET
by Patricia Sellers
The takeaway was pretty discouraging this week when Fortune and recruiting giant Heidrick & Struggles (HSII) co-hosted a discussion on women and boards.
The participants -- members of the Fortune Most Powerful Women community convening in Washington, D.C. -- came up with lots of reasons that "corporate boards get a D for diversity" (the title of my Postcard on Monday). Such as: the club-like culture of boards, the white MOREPatricia Sellers - May 5, 2011 10:16 AM ET
Meg Whitman, the former eBay CEO who got trounced in the race for California governor last November, has a new career plan: Venture capital with Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.
By Patricia Sellers
Meg Whitman, who is in Hawaii until Wednesday with her neurosurgeon husband Griff Harsh, declined to comment, but sources close to her and to the venerable Silicon Valley venture capital firm say that Kleiner will bring Whitman in as a MOREPatricia Sellers - Mar 29, 2011 2:54 PM ET
by Patricia Sellers
I'm back from "vacation." Since the Fortune Most Powerful Women Summit (view sessions here) wrapped in early October, the "chronic networker" that I am (one of my Time Inc. bosses accused me of being this) has been racing around the U.S. -- LA, San Francisco, Palo Alto, Boston, Atlanta, Allentown PA, my hometown. I'm back on New York terra firma at last.
While I was out, I worked on MOREPatricia Sellers - Nov 2, 2010 11:31 AM ET
by Patricia Sellers
I'm just back from a week in California and still on vacation--technically. But I'm speaking about my favorite topic, Women and Power, tonight in Boston and have a couple more speaking gigs next week. So I'll check in on Postcards occasionally.
Speaking of Women and Power, whip-smart Karen Tumulty, who used to write for TIME and is now at the Washington Post, emailed me this story about Meg Whitman MOREPatricia Sellers - Oct 21, 2010 9:45 AM ET
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