34. Kate Swann
CEO, W.H. Smith
2005 rank: 20
When Swann took over nearly three years ago, many never expected her to revive the 200-year-old money-losing book and newspaper retailer. But Swann, 41, is showing her skills as a turnaround artist. Last year profits were $156 million on revenue of $4.5 billion. In August the company announced a de-merger of its wholesale news division, which will leave Swann running a business two-thirds its former size.
Call it the year of the Most Powerful Woman CEO. In fact the top seven positions on the 2006 list are held by chief executives.) (more)
Which corporate women raked it in - and how much did they earn? (more)