6 CEOs-to-be

These executives, all on this year's list, are clearly capable of leading a major company someday.

Amy Brinkley
Amy Brinkley
Chief Risk Officer, Bank of America

In 2000, when Brinkley, 51, premiered on our list, she was head of consumer products. By 2001 she was chairman of credit policy, and in 2002 she ascended to chief risk officer. No wonder she believes that one must "always be open to a broad range of possibilities" when creating a career. Leaping from operations to risk management, she notes, prepared her for bigger things. Developing a thick skin is essential. "Horizontal moves were some of the best moves I've made," says Brinkley, even though people wondered, "Why is she doing that?"

Zoe Cruz

Susan Arnold

Ellen Kullman

Amy Brinkley

Carrie Cox

Liz Smith
50 Most Powerful Women Women have come a long way (don't say 'baby') - and they're not slowing down. The credentials of the women on Fortune's list this year are the strongest yet. (more)
50 Global leaders See which women executives are on top of the world. (more)
25 Best-paid men See how male executives' paychecks compare. (more)