FORTUNE's annual ranking of America's leading businesswomen
Claire Watts Rank: 43 (2004 Rank: 45)
Age: 45 Company:Wal-Mart Based in: Bentonville Title: EVP, Product Development, Apparel and Home Merchandising Get quote:WMT
An eight-page ad insert for Wal-Mart apparel in September's Vogue? That was the retail giant telegraphing its new strategy to attract more fashionable, affluent customers and Watts is the one charged with bringing them in. She heads the $40 billion-plus clothing and furnishings merchandising unit and oversees product development. Her first big move: last month's launch of a trendy in-house fashion label, Metro 7. Under Watts, Wal-Mart added a New York-based trend-spotting office and hired more than 300 fashion merchandisers to track sales at the store level.
From the November 14, 2005 issue
These women are among the highest paid in corporate America. All of them are employed by companies with over $1 billion in sales that filed proxies by September 1, 2005.
Newcomer Charlene Begley heads up GE's plastics division and is the youngest of this group at age 39. She bumped last year's youngest gun, Citigroup CFO Sallie Krawcheck, now 40. But, on average, the Power 50 are in their late 40s.