SVP and group executive, IBM sales, marketing, and strategy IBM 2010 rank: 8 Age: 54
Rometty may be Big Blueís next CEO. A 30-year IBM veteran, she added marketing and strategy oversight to her role last year. The move helps position her as one of the
companyís top two candidates to replace current CEO Sam Palmisano when he retires.
The list is compiled by FORTUNE editors, who consider four criteria: the size and importance of the womanís business in the global economy, the health and direction of the
business, the arc of the womanís career (resume and runway ahead), and societal and cultural influence.