11 of 14
BACKNEXT
Lorrie Norrington
Lorrie Norrington
President, Marketplace Operations, eBay

What was the "a-ha moment" that led you into tech?
In the late 1990's, it was all about technology for technology's sake, especially in Silicon Valley. But to me, true innovation is making products that change people's lives. That was my grounding at GE, and it has stayed with me throughout my career. So when the bubble burst, I got into technology with a real operational mindset. I knew that what Silicon Valley needed was businesspeople to transform pure technology ideas into sustainable long-term businesses.

What has been your most radical career shift, and how risky was it?
Leaving GE and the east coast for Intuit was pretty radical for me. I went from an enormous B2B global company (where I had known many colleagues for 20 years) to a mid-sized consumer products company on the West Coast where no one knew me (or cared about my background). Every single dimension of my life changed with that move. That's one way to shake things up!

What was your toughest day, and what did you learn from it?
When I was at GE, I had to close a poorly performing business that was made up mostly of single moms who didn't have a lot of other career options in a small rural town. It was incredibly disheartening for me personally, but it taught me that leaders have to make tough calls sometimes, and those calls have to be based on what's right for the health of the business. Otherwise, you're doing no one a favor -- not the business, its customers, its shareholders or even its employees.

NEXT: Anne Wojcicki

Last updated October 09 2008: 12:57 PM ET
The new Valley Girls' network Meet tech's next-gen leaders, and see how they're all connected. More
Power 50Talk about drama! Our 11th annual list is dominated by firsts, superlatives, and notable departures. More
25 Highest-paid women Freeport McMoRan's Kathleen Quirk took home $16M last year. Which corporate women raked in even more? More
Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer LIBOR Warning: Neither BBA Enterprises Limited, nor the BBA LIBOR Contributor Banks, nor Reuters, can be held liable for any irregularity or inaccuracy of BBA LIBOR. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.