Indra rising
Is this the face of a new generation at Pepsi? Our new No. 1 takes over an iconic company.

(Fortune Magazine) -- 1 Indra Nooyi

CEO, PepsiCo

2005 rank: 11 Age: 50

Pepsi's brand-new chief (as of Oct. 1) is a powerful force behind the consumer giant's strong profit pipeline and $108 billion stock market valuation. Formerly CFO and president, the Indian-born strategist reached the top even though she never ran a line operation at Pepsi (Charts). Nooyi believes in constant reinvention: "The minute you've developed a new business model, it's extinct, because somebody is going to copy it."

2 Anne Mulcahy

Chairman and CEO

Xerox

2005 rank: 2 Age: 53

An emphasis on color copiers, digital presses, and systems that can copy, fax, print, and scan has helped the turnaround magician (aided by No. 27 Ursula Burns) continue to drive steady growth at the $15.7 billion company. Thanks to the iGen printer, which cost more than $1 billion to develop, Xerox (Charts) is also a market leader in color commercial printing. In 2005 the company launched 49 new products.

3 Meg Whitman

CEO and President

eBay

2005 rank: 1 Age: 50

Whitman's task is to figure out how to put the shine back in one of the brightest stars of the Internet age. Last year's acquisitions have failed to bring in big revenue, and U.S. traffic growth has slowed. That has translated into a slumping stock, down about 40% in the past year; market cap is now $37 billion. The Internet phone provider Skype won't bring in profits anytime soon - the service remains free until the end of the year. In July the company announced a $2 billion stock buyback, eBay (Charts)'s first.

4 Pat Woertz

CEO and President

Archer Daniels Midland

2005 rank: 6 Age: 53

Talk about a brief retirement. In March the 29-year Chevron veteran stepped down from running the $194 billion company's downstream division. By May she had stepped into the corner office at the $37 billion agribusiness giant. Woertz's energy expertise is expected to guide ADM's push in renewable fuels. Her timing was impeccable: Riding a commodities boom,ADM (Charts) stock has had a good run.

5 Irene Rosenfeld

CEO

Kraft Foods

2005 rank: 27 Age: 53

Taking the top job at Kraft was a homecoming for Rosenfeld, who spent 22 years at the company, then took a detour to PepsiCo to head the Frito-Lay unit. Now back at Kraft (Charts), the world's second-largest food company (2005 revenues: $34 billion), she is facing major challenges. Several years into its restructuring plan, Kraft's sales are sluggish. Rosenfeld's next move: preparing for the widely expected spinoff from parent company Altria.

6 BRENDA BARNES

Chairman and CEO

Sara Lee

2005 rank: 3 Age: 52

Barnes inherited a mish-mash of companies when she became CEO last year. So she began selling noncore businesses like Hanes apparel to focus on food. The divested units made up 40% of Sara Lee's revenues, which were $19.3 billion when Barnes took over and are expected to shrink to about $11.6 billion this year. The stock is still lagging, as Barnes has been forced to lower the company's long-term targets.

7 Andrea Jung

Chairman and CEO

Avon

2005 rank: 5 Age: 48

Jung's turnaround plan for the $8 billion beauty company is on track to reach $200 million in annual savings. Key markets like the U.S., Canada, and Mexico are struggling. Russia is doing well, though, and so is China, where Avon has shifted from department stores to direct sales.

8 Oprah Winfrey

Chairman

Harpo Inc.

2005 rank: 4 Age: 52

Move over, Howard Stern. Oprah took to the radio waves in September with the launch of Oprah & Friends, an XM Satellite Radio network. In January her $40 million Leadership Academy for Girls will open in South Africa.

9 Sallie Krawcheck

CFO, Head of Strategy

Citigroup

2005 rank: 7 Age: 41

Krawcheck and CEO Chuck Prince have spearheaded major changes at the financial services giant (market cap: $247 billion), including the sale of the asset-management and life insurance and annuity businesses. But with rising interest rates and a weaker housing market, Citigroup has been missing its earnings targets.

10 Susan Arnold

Vice Chair, Beauty and Health Procter & Gamble

2005 rank: 17 Age: 52

In April the P&G lifer added the personal health, oral care, and pharmaceutical businesses to her beauty portfolio. At $29 billion in sales, her divisions bring in 42% of P&G's revenues. Down the line, she's a contender for an even bigger job: CEO.

11 Christine Poon

Vice Chairman, Worldwide Chairman, Medicines and Nutritionals Group

Johnson & Johnson

2005 rank: 12 Age: 53

Poon's $25 billion drugs and vitamins business accounts for half of J&J's sales, and it's about to get bigger. With the acquisition of Pfizer's consumer health-care business, her $2.7 billion over-the-counter unit will nearly double in size--and become the world's largest OTC company.

12 Judy McGrath

Chairman and CEO, MTV Networks Viacom

2005 rank: 10 Age: 54

With the recent ouster of Tom Freston, McGrath is one of the few MTV veterans still standing. With channels like Comedy Central and Nickelodeon, her MTV Networks holds a nearly 25% market share in cable ratings and ads--and brings in 70% of Viacom's $10 billion in revenues. But there is danger ahead as advertisers move online, where 25-year-old MTV lags newcomers MySpace and YouTube.

13 Anne Sweeney

Co-Chair Disney Media Networks; President Disney - ABC Television Group

2005 rank: 16 Age: 48

Sweeney is leading one of the big trends in media: television shows migrating to other devices, such as computers and iPods. Last fall she brokered a deal with Apple to make ABC the first network to offer digital downloads on iTunes. In May, Disney blazed another trail with free video streaming of primetime shows on ABC's website.

14 Ann Livermore

EVP, Technology Solutions Group Hewlett-Packard

2005 rank: 18 Age: 48

Livermore, a Hewlett-Packard mainstay, is leading the turnaround of the corporate computing business, which includes servers, software, and services. She brought in nearly 40% of companywide sales last year, and operating profits in her division rose 48%, to $1.9 billion, on $33.3 billion in revenues.

15 Ann Moore

Chairman and CEO

Time Inc.

2005 rank: 13 Age: 56

Moore recently announced plans to divest 18 magazines, including such venerable titles as Popular Science and Field & Stream. The idea is to focus on the 132 left, including People, Sports Illustrated, and Time, and especially online, where advertising revenues are rising. Print is challenged, but Time Inc., which is FORTUNE's parent, still posts $1 billion in operating income.

16 Ginni Rometty

SVP, Global Business Services IBM

2005 rank: 15 Age: 49

Rometty is one of three executives overseeing IBM's $47 billion global services business, which accounts for more than half of revenues. Growth has slowed of late, a trend IBM is hoping to reverse in part through acquisitions, including one led by Rometty: the $740 million purchase of MRO Software.

17 Susan Desmond-Hellmann

President, Product Development Genentech

2005 rank: 23 Age: 49

The oncologist-executive at the $6.6 billion biomed firm helped get four FDA approvals this year, including one for Avastin, a drug designed for use by chemotherapy patients with colon or rectal cancer. Her ambitious goal: to bring at least 15 major new drugs to market by 2010.

18 Abigal Johnson

President, Fidelity Employer Services Fidelity

2005 rank: 8 Age: 44

Ned Johnson moved Abby, his daughter and presumed heir, from the core mutual fund business last year after performance slipped. Still, she remains a major shareholder (though she transferred some of her shares to family trusts last year). The succession question looms, and running the fast-growing benefits business may be a requisite for the top job.

19 Zoe Cruz

Co-President

Morgan Stanley

2005 rank: 19 Age: 51

The 24-year Morgan Stanley veteran was named co-president in February (with Bob Scully). Last month the $52 billion Wall Street firm announced its best third quarter ever, owing in large part to Cruz's institutional securities and global wealth-management divisions.

20 Susan Ivey

Chairman and CEO

R.J. Reynolds Tobacco

Chairman, President, and CEO Reynolds American

2005 rank: 24 Age: 47

Since she was named chairman in January, Ivey has watched Reynolds American's stock price climb 33%. But litigation risk could dampen the blaze at the $8.3 billion tobacco company, maker of a third of all cigarettes sold in the U.S.

21 Ellen Kullman

EVP, Safety and Protection, Coatings and Color, Marketing and Sales, and Safety and Sustainability DuPont

2005 rank: 46 Age: 50

Recently promoted, Kullman leads two divisions that account for 40% of revenues--the $6 billion auto paint and inks unit and the $5 billion safety and protection business. A trusted lieutenant of CEO Chad Holliday, Kullman is on the short list to succeed him.

22 Charlene Begley

CEO and President, Plastics

General Electric

2005 rank: 20 Age: 39

In her first year running the $7 billion plastics business, which employs 11,000 people, GE's highest-ranking woman focused on relationships old and new. Rising oil and natural gas prices pushed up production costs, and Begley had to spend considerable time rebuilding bonds with put-off customers. She also helped negotiate a joint venture with PetroChina for GE's first polycarbonate production plant in China.

23 Amy Brinkley

Chief Risk Officer

Bank of America

2005 rank: 25 Age: 50

With a market cap of more than $240 billion, Bank of America is closer than ever to overtaking Citigroup as the world's most valuable bank. Brinkley, who reports directly to CEO Ken Lewis, is responsible for protecting BofA's assets by keeping its credit clean and loan portfolio stable.

24 Lois Quam

CEO, Ovations

UnitedHealth Group

2005 rank: 36 Age: 45

Charges of backdating options and a slumping stock have made for a tough year at UnitedHealth. Still, one of every five Medicare beneficiaries is a client of Ovations, the nation's largest provider of health services to the over-50 crowd. Thanks to growth and a big acquisition, revenues are expected to jump from $9.4 billion to more than $25 billion this year.

25 Heidi Miller

CEO, Treasury and Securities Services

J.P. Morgan Chase

2005 rank: 28 Age: 53

Big results from Miller, who has transformed the $8.8 billion custody, cash-management, and clearinghouse business into a leaner, meaner machine. For the first half of 2006, operating profits are up 32%, while revenues have increased 13%, to $4.3 billion. And Miller's longtime mentor, Jamie Dimon, is now CEO.

26 Carol Meyrowitz AROL

President

TJX Cos.

New Age: 52

Promoted to president of the nation's largest off-price retailer last fall, the 23-year company vet's job is about to get bigger: The TJX board plans to name her CEO in January. TJX stores, including TJ Maxx and Marshalls, rang up $16 billion in sales last year.

27 Ursula Burns

SVP and President, Business Group Operations

Xerox

2005 rank: 48 Age: 48

An ever-growing list of responsibilities--including engineering, product R&D, manufacturing, supply chain, and global purchasing--boosts Burns way up the list. She helped deliver $14 billion of Xerox's $15.7 billion in revenues in 2005. Given her solid record, Burns may well be first in line to succeed CEO Anne Mulcahy.

28 Martha Stewart

Founder, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia

2005 rank: 21 Age: 65

The domestic diva's stock is flat, while her version of The Apprentice sank. But better things may be ahead. Licensing deals with KB Home, Macy's, and Kodak are promising, and the magazines continue to shine.

29 Linda Dillman

EVP, Risk Management, Benefits, and Sustainability Wal-Mart

2005 rank: 29 Age: 50

CEO Lee Scott tapped Dillman, formerly Wal-Mart's chief information officer, to lead the green charge. Dillman also oversees Wal-Mart's health-care initiatives, which include a major new plan for employees and in-store health clinics.

30 Shelly Lazarus

Chairman and CEO

Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide

2005 rank: 26 Age: 59

The Ogilvy veteran, who advises CEOs of major companies like American Express and IBM, scored a coup when J&J hired the $800 million ad firm for the 2008 Olympics. The Dove campaign, featuring normal-sized women, lives on, capturing attention and awards.

31 Mary Minnick

EVP; President of Marketing, Strategy, and Innovation Coca-Cola

2005 rank: 30 Age: 46

Minnick is key to Coke CEO Neville Isdell's promise to create a culture that is more comfortable with risk. Since taking over marketing and innovation last year, the former Asia boss has rolled out a slew of new products, including Coca-Cola Zero for young men and Coke BlaK for older drinkers. She also ditched Coke's former ad agency in favor of the hip Wieden & Kennedy.

32 Pat Curran

EVP, Store Operations

Wal-Mart Stores

New Age: 42

Curran started out as an hourly employee in the pets department. Now she's the top operations executive for Wal-Mart's 3,800-plus U.S. stores, which cash in $210 billion in annual sales.

33 Lisa Weber

President, Individual Business MetLife

2005 rank: 35 Age: 43

Since June 2004, Weber has overseen the insurer's $17 billion retail business, which makes up nearly a third of MetLife's $44.8 billion in revenues. Travelers Life & Annuity, acquired from Citigroup in 2005 for $11.8 billion, helped increase her segment's earnings by $1.5 billion last year. Even the wreckage of hurricanes Katrina and Wilma didn't damage the auto and home division, which delivered a respectable 8% increase in earnings in 2005.

34 Mary Sammons

CEO and President

Rite Aid

2005 rank: 39 Age: 60

When the $3.4 billion deal to acquire the Eckerd and Brooks pharmacies is completed, the combined company will have more than 5,000 stores and nearly $27 billion in sales. It will also be closer in scale to rivals Walgreen and CVS. But the marriage of two turnarounds-in-progress won't work unless Sammons can improve store performance.

35 Joanne Maguire

EVP, Space Systems

Lockheed Martin

New Age: 52

The highest-ranking woman at the world's largest defense company has aerospace in her blood: Her father also worked in the industry. Maguire, who joined Lockheed Martin in 2003, runs the $6.8 billion division that supplies equipment and services for space launches, satellites, and missile systems. In August, NASA awarded her team a $4 billion contract to build the Orion spacecraft, which will eventually replace the Space Shuttle fleet. Maguire was named to Lockheed's board of directors in 2004.

36 Doreen Toben

CFO

Verizon

2005 rank: 32 Age: 56

The second-largest U.S. telecom company is building a cutting-edge fiber network to deliver TV and faster Internet. Toben oversees Verizon's strategic planning, as well as its day-to-day finances. Wall Street is finally starting to reward the company for its high-stake investments. The stock has risen more than 20% this year.

37 Colleen Goggins

Worldwide Chairman, Consumer and Personal Care Group

Johnson & Johnson

New Age: 52

Goggins's $6.4 billion unit includes iconic products like Band-Aids and Johnson's Baby Shampoo. But skin care is the largest and the fastest-growing part of her business. Last year the sales of Neutrogena, Aveeno, and other lines grew 12%, to $2.4 billion.

38 Cathleen Black

President

Hearst Magazines

2005 rank: 34 Age: 62

In a tough time for print media, Hearst has expanded to 164 international editions, including Esquire in Russia and Seventeen in Turkey. It is also making an aggressive push online. Ad revenues are up, but two recent launches, SHOP ETC. and Weekend, were shuttered.

39 Carrie Cox

EVP; President, Global Pharmaceuticals

Schering-Plough

2004 rank: 37 Age: 49

Once beset by regulatory problems, Schering-Plough (2005 revenues: $9.5 billion) is making the most of its current portfolio of drugs. For the first half of 2006, profits in Cox's pharmaceuticals group were $720 million, up 42% from last year.

40 Paula Rosput Reynolds

CEO and President

Safeco

New Age: 50

Reynolds spent 27 years in the energy industry--and ran $2.7 billion AGL Resources--before taking charge at the property and casualty insurer early this year. Her task at the $6.2 billion company: to expand its market share outside its home territory, the Pacific Northwest.

41 Amy Pascal

Co-Chairman, Sony Pictures Entertainment

Sony

2005 rank: 42 Age: 48

The Da Vinci Code and Talladega Nights pushed Sony into second place in summer box-office receipts, a big improvement from last year's eighth-place finish. In September, Pascal became co-chairman, formalizing an already tight working relationship with co-chairman and CEO Michael Lynton.

42 Dawn Hudson

CEO and President,

Pepsi-Cola North America

PepsiCo

2005 rank: 41 Age 48

Hudson's $5.5 billion portfolio includes Pepsi, Aquafina, and Lipton. Since new CEO Indra Nooyi named John Compton CEO for North America in mid-September, though, Hudson no longer reports directly to the top. Headhunters, who rate her highly, say she could land a big marketing or media gig elsewhere.

43 Deirdre Connelly

President, Lilly USA

Eli Lilly

New Age: 46

The head of Lilly's biggest division ($7.8 billion) started out as a sales representative in her native San Juan, Puerto Rico. It's only fitting, then, that one of the first things Connelly tackled upon assuming the helm of Lilly USA last year was a reorganization of the sales force.

44 Ellyn McColgan

President, Fidelity Brokerage

Fidelity

2005 rank: 45 Age: 52

Since arriving in 2002, McColgan has slashed fees, increased the marketing budget, and focused on the retirement business. Assets under administration have almost doubled, reaching $1.5 trillion and making Fidelity the country's largest brokerage.

45 Claire Watts

EVP, Product Development, Apparel, and Home Merchandising

Wal-Mart Stores

2005 rank: 43 Age: 46

Watts is masterminding Wal-Mart's makeover from budget basic to cheap chic, part of the superstore's strategy to get customers who come for low-margin staples to shop the whole floor. She has added an upmarket women's collection and a line, inspired by hip-hop, for young men that hits stores this fall. She also oversees "hard home" categories like lawn, paint, and stationery.

46 Catherine West

EVP, Chief Operating Officer

J.C. Penney

New Age: 47

Penney's new COO--she's had the job since August-- will help the $19 billion department store expand. The company plans to add 175 new stores to its 1,000-plus locations by 2011. Well positioned to grab market share after Federated's acquisition of May, Penney is also extensively remodeling its existing stores.

47 Nancy Peretsman

EVP, Managing Director

Allen & Co.

2005 rank: 38 Age: 52

M&A specialist Peretsman helped broker Google's 11th-hour, $1 billion bid for a 5% stake in AOL (and an advertising partnership) that thwarted an AOL- Microsoft alliance. A trusted advisor to big media companies, small online businesses, and family firms, she has recently been spending time in China.

48 Diane Gulyas

Group VP, Performance Materials

DuPont

New Age: 50

Gulyas ran DuPont's $3 billion display technology business before being tapped as chief marketing officer in 2004. Now the chemical engineer is leading the $6.8 billion unit that produces resins, polymers, and films--materials that go into everything from cars to golf balls to food packaging. One hot product line: SentryGlas protective glass for construction in hurricane-prone states.

49 Christina Gold

CEO Western Union

New Age: 59

Telegrams may be dead, but Western Union, spun off from First Data in late September, is doing fine as the world's largest money-transfer business. The $4 billion company helps immigrants send remittances home; 80% of individual transactions involve at least one non-U.S. location. Western Union provides services in over 200 countries and territories.

50 Stacey Snider

CEO, DreamWorks SKG

Viacom

2005 rank: 33 Age: 45

In April, Snider went from running Universal Studios to DreamWorks, where her budget is less than half what it used to be. But then, she gets to work with Steven Spielberg. Viacom, which bought DreamWorks in late 2005, needs Snider's creative clout to revive its movie biz.

Reporter associates Regina Castro, Anastasia Serduykova and Cathy Tang contributed to this article. Top of page