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29. Fumiko Hayashi
Chairman, Daiei
2005 rank: 10
Japan
Hayashi lost her CEO title this fall when Marubeni, the Japanese trading company, became the struggling department-store chain's largest shareholder. She'll stay on as chairman and unofficial cheerleader for Daiei's 15,000 employees, who are weary from having four presidents in seven years. Before the latest reshuffle, the 60-year-old former car saleswoman closed 53 unprofitable stores and changed the company's logo. Revenue fell 12% last year, to $14.9 billion.
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