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eBay CEO tops Fortune women's list
Whitman said to be most powerful women in corporate world, displacing HP's Fiorina.
October 4, 2004: 10:02 AM EDT

NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - Meg Whitman, CEO of online auction Web site eBay, toppled Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina from the title of the corporate world's most powerful woman, according to a new ranking by Fortune magazine.

eBay CEO Meg Whitman has climbed into the top spot on Fortune's list of most powerful women.  
eBay CEO Meg Whitman has climbed into the top spot on Fortune's list of most powerful women.

Fiorina had held the top spot on Fortune's list of 50 Most Powerful Women since the list debuted in 1998. She falls to No. 2 on this year's list.

The magazine said Whitman won the top spot because she, "has built the world's largest online marketplace, the world's most valuable Internet brandóand the fastest growing company in history." Also contributing to Fiorina's fall is the fact that HP missed earnings targets and is still getting crunched between competitors IBM and Dell, according to Fortune.

Whitman had been No. 2 in the 2003 survey behind Fiorina, and was No. 3 on the 2002 list.

"Whitman has steered the company in surprising directions and made counterintuitive strategic choices," according to Fortune. "Unlike Fiorina -- who is struggling with a troubled merger, earnings disappointments, and restless innovators -- Whitman had to amass a more complex, subtle kind of power."

The magazine said that its rankings are based on the size and importance of the woman's business in the global marketplace, her clout inside her company; her career trajectory and in certain cases her cultural and social impact.

Rounding out the top five positions on the list are No. 3 Andrea Jung, chairman and CEO of Avon Products; No. 4 Anne Mulcahy, chairman and CEO of Xerox and No. 5 Marjorie Magner, chairman and CEO of the global consumer group at Citigroup. All three held those positions on the 2003 list as well.

Chief Executive Officers
eBay Incorporated
Meg Whitman

The magazine also has a leader on its list of 50 most powerful women at companies outside the United States -- Anne Lauvergeon, chairman of Areva, the French nuclear power and information technology company.

Xie Qihua, chairman and president of Shanghai Baosteel Group, China's largest iron and steel maker, is No. 2 on the international list while Marjorie Scardino, CEO of British publishing and media concern Pearson, fell to No. 3 from her previous rank as No. 1 on the international list.

Fortune and CNN/Money are both units of Time Warner Inc.  Top of page

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