Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

Fortune’s Most Powerful Women List Has Lots of Tech Stars, With She-Can-Do-Anything Spotlight on Facebook’s Sandberg


Given all the focus on females in top leadership in tech recently — due to the worthy (and it is most certainly that, no matter how much some misguided people might say it is not) debate over the lack of a woman director on the soon-to-IPO Twitter board — it’s worth a gander at Fortune magazine’s annual list of 50 powerful women in business.

As usual, it has a big group from tech, and mostly from Silicon Valley — pretty much the same group that was named last year — including IBM CEO Ginni Rometty at No. 1 for the second straight year, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg at No. 5, Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer at No. 8 and Hewlett-Packard CEO Meg Whitman at No. 9. Also on the list: Top Oracle exec Safra Catz (No. 14), Google exec Susan Wojcicki of Google, Intel’s Renée James and IBM’s Bridget Van Kralingen (No. 19, No. 27 and No. 28, respectively).

There is also a cover story on Sandberg that can only be described as very, very complimentary, painting the exec pretty much as a perfect superwoman, who can run the giant and complex social networking business and also become a global celebrity, in part due to her still-best-selling book on women and leadership, “Lean In.” In addition, a great mom (and she is, indeed).

The piece also includes a string of supporting quotes, mostly from powerful men, such as Facebook CEO and co-founder Mark Zuckerberg (“‘Lean In’ has done a lot more for Facebook than Facebook has done for ‘Lean In.'”) and mega-VC Marc Andreessen (“Every company we work with wants ‘a Sheryl.’ I keep explaining to people that we haven’t yet figured out how to clone her.”).

(Maybe not clone her, but after reading it, I had the overwhelming impulse to scramble all the private jets out here and get her to D.C. to lean on some pols to open the government again, tout de suite.)

There is also an interesting list of the next-most-powerful women — they apparently did not make the main list — including Netflix VP of original series Cindy Holland, Microsoft’s EVP Julie Larson-Green, Instagram’s Emily White, Twitter’s Chloe Sladden, Google’s Margo Georgiadis, Kleiner Perkins’s Mary Meeker, Cisco’s Padmasree Warrior and Apple’s Katie Cotton.

Also worth noting: A smaller profile of Twitter’s international exec Katie Stanton — nice Paris background, Madame Stanton! — whose description on the microblogging service is: “Twitter Globetrotter. Mom of 3. Macaron Connoisseur. Europe.” Said the former Yahoo and Google exec, who is dubbed “Twitter’s Ambassador” by Fortune: “What do they say? If you love your job, you never work a day in your life.”

Mais oui.

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There’s a lot of attention and PR around Marissa, but their product lineup just kind of blows.

— Om Malik on Bloomberg TV, talking about Yahoo, the September issue of Vogue Magazine, and our overdependence on Google