50 Most Powerful Women Global edition: My very first job

Before they were running global businesses, these MPWs had more mundane jobs such as selling shoes and waiting tables. Guess who worked as a lifeguard at the local pool?

Ornella Barra

first jobs Ornella Barra
  • Company: Alliance Boots
  • Global MPW rank: 21

Ornella Barra's first job was working in a pharmacy in the town of Chiavari, near Genoa in Northern Italy. Barra, now chief executive, Wholesale and Brands for Alliance Boots, subsequently managed the pharmacy, and then bought it.

  @FortuneMagazine - Last updated February 06 2014 12:08 PM ET
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The 50 Most Powerful Women in Business: Global edition

By pushing into new territories and inspiring women in their home countries, these globetrotters are, quite literally, taking on the world.

How we pick the Most Powerful Women
To compile this first-ever global MPW ranking, the editors weighed many of the same factors historically used to measure executive power: the size and importance of the business, its health and direction, and the arc of the leader’s career. This time, though, the editors placed emphasis on the international nature of the executive’s operation and her standing in the worldwide business community. Thus, someone like Sam’s Club CEO Rosalind Brewer, No. 15 on Fortune’s list of American MPW, drops to No. 39 on the global list because while she sources wares from around the world, all her sales come from just one market, the U.S.
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