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Carly Fiorina most powerful woman in business

Again. New Fortune top 50 out

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Carly Fiorina, chairman and CEO of Hewlett-Packard has retained her crown as the most powerful woman in business, according to Fortune magazine in its new top 50. Carly has topped the list every year since it was first launched in 1998.

The list is very US-centric but then since most of the biggest and richest companies reside in the US, it's not a bad measure.

Carly of course also gets an extra boost thanks to the mega-merger with Compaq that she is currently trying to pull off.

Second place is given to another woman in the computer business - Meg Whitman, the president and CEO of eBay. Seems a little too high a ranking to us (she was third last year), but Fortune reckons: "Whitman, who at times took heat for not managing aggressively enough, has never overpromised investors; instead she has diligently delivered above-target profits every single quarter."

Third is Oprah Winfrey - you know the chat-show host. And then the rest of the list is mostly made up of women in the entertainment business or investment banking. A further six women from the computer industry make it into the list:

  • 6. Ann Mulcahy, President and CEO, Xerox
  • 21. Ann Moore, executive VP, AOL Time Warner
  • 23. Betsy Bernard, President and CEO, AT&T Consumer
  • 28. Ann Livermore, President, HP Services
  • 30. Linda Sanford, senior VP and Group Executive, IBM Storage Systems
  • 32. Donna Dubinsky, CEO Handspring (down from 4)

Gone from the list are: Deborah Hopkins - second last year - who lost her CFO job at Lucent this year and Ellen Hancock whose startup, Exodus, failed.

Fortune leads us into the top 50 with the paragraph: "For some 30 years - ever since women started jockeying for power in the workplace - patience has gotten a bad rap. After all, the virtue fairly reeks of a Victorian mission to corset women into the role of submissive wife and mother. So women have shunned it. Instead they have felt the need to make bold pronouncements and rush to action. That was never truer than during the season of dot-com mania, when every CEO professed to be leading a revolution. And any leader who failed to act quickly was supposed to get trampled by the capitalist vanguard..."

If you want to read more or see the full list, go here. ®

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