How the power players do it - by Fortune senior editor at large Patricia Sellers

Powerful women on the move

June 19, 2008: 6:32 PM ET

Who will head Hearst following CEO Victor Ganzi's sudden departure? Read my colleague Richard Siklos' smart take on the drama there. I had lunch on Monday with one contender: Hearst Magazines President Cathie Black - and even then, she had no clue that her boss was going to quit. In fact, Cathie told me on Monday that she was heading to India for an IBM (IBM) board meeting this Thursday - yes, that would be today. Needless to say, she canceled her trip - which would have been her first visit to India ever. Today, she sent me an e-mail, explaining that when when major change hits, it's best to stick around for lots of reasons, "including just being seen and to reassure the team that focusing on the business at hand is the first priority." It's a strange coincidence that on Monday, Cathie shared her best advice on stepping into a new job. Given her prowess running a $2.5 billion piece of Hearst, she could be doing that herself soon. But her age, 64, works against her in this succession contest.

Meanwhile, over at Citigroup (C), Lisa Caputo is taking on more duties. She's now in charge of global communications as well as global marketing for Citi. I don't know how she does it - mega-job, two little kids plus stepchildren, new house. At least with Hillary Clinton (her former boss when she was HRC's press secretary in the Clinton White House) finally out of the presidential race, Lisa's political tuggings have eased. But I do still see her on TV playing pundit.

Also, a prominent Bear Stearns refugee has landed. Investment banker Lisbeth Barron, who co-headed Bear's media and entertainment group, has moved to Centerview Partners. At Centerview, an investment advisory and private equity outfit, she's joining an amazing lineup of heavy-hitters once atop name-brand firms: Remember Steve Crawford, who was co-president of Morgan Stanley (MS) with Zoe Cruz in the Phil Purcell era? And Robert Pruzan, former president of Wasserstein-Perella and CEO of Dresdner Kleinwort North America? And Blair Effron, ex-group vice chairman of UBS (UBS)? They've all moved to Centerview, where Jim Kilts, the former Gillette CEO who sold that company to Procter & Gamble (PG), is now running the firm's private equity arm. "The next couple of years are going to be rough on the street," Lis told me Thursday. "Private equity, M&A advisory, and hedge funds are attracting the best and the smartest." Maybe self-serving to say it - but true.

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