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Wednesday, November 08, 2006
Mr. Jackson, Please Get Into The Movies And Thrill Us
I have had the pleasure over 30 yrs to enjoy the music of Mr. Michael Jackson, the gloved King of Pop. I am aware that millions of people all over the world love him for his music and lifetime accomplishments.
(Oct. 2) - PepsiCo. Xerox. eBay. ADM. Kraft Foods. Sara Lee. Avon. The list of brand-name companies with women chief executives is longer and more impressive than ever, after a year of stunning breakthroughs in corner-office hiring.
The first big surprise landed in the spring, when $37-billion-a-year Archer Daniels Midland wooed former Chevron exec Pat Woertz to take over.
In June came the next shocker: Kraft Foods, which three years ago had failed to offer enough growth opportunities to keep rising star Irene Rosenfeld from walking away, persuaded her to return as CEO after a dynamic run at Frito-Lay.
But the biggest news hit in the heat of August when PepsiCo unexpectedly announced that CEO Steve Reinemund would be stepping down.
The front-runner to succeed him, most observers assumed, was an American man, Mike White, who had turned around Pepsi's international operations.
She had served as president and CFO since 2001 but had never run a line business at Pepsi - as naysayers had long pointed out. Still, by promoting herself as a visionary she won the board's support.
"It's a game-changing year," notes CEO recruiter Joie Gregor of Heidrick & Struggles. Indeed, it could be called the year of the Most Powerful Woman CEO. The top seven positions on Fortune's 2006 Most Powerful Women list are held by CEOs.
Among the list's nine newcomers are Paula Rosput Reynolds (No. 40), who took charge at insurer Safeco last January, and Carol Meyrowitz (No. 26), who will take the helm at TJX, America's largest off-price retailer, next January.
Then there are the CEOs in waiting. Susan Arnold (No. 10), whose health and beauty brands generate $29 billion of Procter & Gamble's $68 billion in revenues, is a top candidate to succeed chief A.G. Lafley. Ursula Burns (No. 27), who runs the vast majority of Xerox's operations, is in line to replace CEO Anne Mulcahy (No. 2) when she retires.
Pat Russo now has the top spot on our international Most Powerful Women list, after merging her company, Lucent, with French telecom giant Alcatel and winnng the CEO job. Of course, a few women tumbled off their pedestals. Karen Katen failed to win the top job at Pfizer and left the company. Anne Stevens, who headed Ford's Americas division, quit in September. And Pattie Dunn certainly had an ignoble fall from grace at Hewlett-Packard. Meanwhile, CEOs Brenda Barnes at Sara Lee and Andrea Jung at Avon (both of whom dropped in our ranking) are struggling to make big restructurings work.
Still, by the key criteria Fortune uses in assembling the list - the size, importance, and health of each business in the global economy, and the momentum of each woman's career (along with her social and cultural influence) - there's no question that the power of women in the corporate sphere is rising.
Reinventing PepsiCo Look no further than the new No. 1 on our list, Indra Nooyi at PepsiCo (eBay's Meg Whitman, who topped the rankings the past two years, slips to No. 3). The daughter of a banker and a housewife in southern India, Nooyi, 50, grew up in a middle-class environment where "if you didn't get a 100 on your test, you failed," she recalled in a speech a few years ago.
She graduated from Madras Christian College at 18, earned her MBA at the Indian Institute of Management at 20 and three years later moved to the U.S. to attend Yale, where she picked up a master's in public and private management. Unable to afford a business suit, she wore a traditional Indian sari to an interview at Booz Allen Hamilton, which hired her as a summer intern. She moved on to strategy roles at Boston Consulting Group, Motorola, and Asea Brown Boveri.
Her first years at PepsiCo (as SVP of strategic planning) were grim. In 1996, Pepsi's international drinks business imploded because of overexpansion, and CEO Wayne Calloway died of cancer. But Nooyi hung in there - and exploited new opportunities. During the next five years she worked hand in hand with Calloway's successor, Roger Enrico, on $35 billion worth of deals, including spin-offs and divestitures.
"I'd sit in meetings and try to be real macho and dehumanize these decisions," she said at Fortune's 2002 Most Powerful Women Summit. "Then I'd go into my office and close the door and shed a few tears, thinking, God, why can't I just be building? I struggled with this for many years. Then we bought Quaker Oats, and it was like giving birth, adding people."
Bold proof that powerful women need not tone down their style to get ahead, Nooyi has relished standing out from ordinary executives - especially the guys. "There is no question that women who reach the top have to perform at a higher level," she told Fortune a few years ago. (PepsiCo says it isn't making Nooyi available to any media until she has settled into her new job.) Once a member of a female rock band, she has been known to sing at company parties and plays electric guitar - though there's no time for that these days.
The only thing that Nooyi, a mother of two daughters, does not pursue with gusto may be balance. "I work hard or work harder," she has said, classifying the concept of balance, at least as it applies to her, as "for the birds."
Her unbridled ambition and strident views put off some people. She has long dismissed the criticism about her lack of line experience. "The job I'm doing, to call it a non-operating job is crazy," she told Fortune in 2004, when as CFO and president she oversaw Pepsi-Co's IT systems and supply chain. "It's damn difficult," she added.
While White, vice chairman and head of Pepsi's international business, was the one-time favorite of then-CEO Reinemund, Nooyi convinced the directors that PepsiCo needed a transformational leader. "We have to keep reinventing ourselves," she likes to say. A lifelong vegetarian, she is sure to accelerate Pepsi's expansion in nutritional foods and beverages around the globe. "I grew up in an emerging market, and I cannot forget that," Nooyi said two years ago. "I have a basic belief that positive nutrition is important in developing markets."
A Transformational Leader at Kraft
At Kraft, the $34 billion marketer of Oreos and Maxwell House coffee, Irene Rosenfeld also aims to be a transformational leader. But she had to leave the company and prove herself elsewhere to earn the CEO title. Rosenfeld, 53, had a superb 22-year record at the world's second-largest food company, rising from associate market research manager to president of the North American business. "She's a no-nonsense problem-solver with an almost laser-like focus on improving a business," says Bob Eckert, a former Kraft chief who is now CEO of Mattel. In 2003, as Kraft's growth slowed and Rosenfeld disagreed with the direction of new top management, she decided to leave. Advisors scratched their heads. "Why get off the treadmill? You have all this talent," Heidrick's renowned recruiter, Gerry Roche, told her.
But Rosenfeld knew what she was doing. She took a year off, turned down several CEO opportunities, and heeded the advice of her onetime boss, Jim Kilts, who ran Kraft before he headed Nabisco and Gillette: "I told Irene, 'Always go with a super company. Don't get caught up in the title.' " She ultimately joined PepsiCo to run Frito-Lay, its most profitable division.
Her successful stint at the $10 billion snack unit (Frito-Lay's profits rose solidly despite higher costs for potatoes, corn, and energy) convinced Kraft's board that she is the kind of CEO it needs. In July the board ousted Roger Deromedi, a stringent cost cutter and top-down decision-maker. Louis Camilleri, Kraft's chairman (and CEO of Altria, which owns 88% of Kraft), called Rosenfeld in. She claims she's a better leader today, having worked at Pepsi:
"I learned the value of a relentless focus on growth," she says. Three months into her job as CEO, Rosenfeld is trying to view Kraft the way an outsider would. After visiting 22 Kraft plants and facilities around the world, she announced a sweeping reorganization to hand more power to the company's line operators.
An Outsider Reaches the Top at ADM
Woertz, meanwhile, is viewing ADM as an outsider - because she is one. "I'm outside the company, outside the industry, outside the family, outside the gender expectations," notes the oil industry's former top female executive.
An accountant by training, Woertz, 53, had spent 29 years at Gulf Oil and its acquirer, Chevron, changing jobs every three years or so. Undaunted by male competition (a 15-handicap, she plays golf from the men's tees), she climbed to EVP at Chevron, in charge of refining, trading, and marketing - plus 20,000 employees in 180 countries.
Despite all that power, she had, in her view, reached a plateau. After four years in the position, she was looking at another four or so to get a shot at succeeding Chevron CEO David O'Reilly. "I didn't want to do the same job for that long," she says.
HUGH HEFNER: Ultimate Lifestyle Entrepreneur--From Scott Allen
Hugh Hefner is the supreme bachelor of our time and the ultimate "lifestyle entrepreneur". He has forever changed our world by breaking the boundaries related to sexuality, age, and gender. He created a revolutionary magazine with naked women and great articles in a time when sexuality was not even appropriate to talk about. Education: Hugh Hefner (aka “Hef”) was born April 9, 1926 to conservative Nebraska farmers. Though Hef had a genius I.Q. of 152, he was still an average student. Hef enjoyed participating in extracurricular activities like the school newspaper, writing, and cartooning and was also president of the student counsel.
Hef graduated in 1944 and joined the U.S. Army as an infantry clerk. While he was there Hef drew several cartoons for the Army newspaper.
After his release from the Army in 1946 he enrolled in the Chicago Art Institute, and in the fall attended class at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign where he received his bachelors degree in just 2½ years.
Hef also took a graduate course in sociology for a semester at Northwestern. His interest was in individual freedom. He wrote a paper on U.S. sex laws during the time Kinsey was researching human sexuality.
Getting Started: Hef worked as an asst. personnel manager for the Chicago Cartoon Company and then as a promotion copywriter for Esquire magazine.
When the company moved to New York and refused the five dollar raise Hef requested, he quit and tried to raise enough money to launch a new Chicago Magazine.
After failing he worked as a news stand promotions director of Publisher’s Development Corporation. While working, Hef found that there was a demand for a gentleman's magazine. Playboy Magazine:
Between family and friends, Hef was able to raise $8,000 to start his magazine. The first issue featured Marilyn Monroe and sold over 50,000 copies.
The original name was "Stag Party", but he was forced to change it as it was challenged as a trademark infringement by Stag Magazine.
The name "Playboy" was suggested by a friend, and the famous bunny logo was picked for its humorous sexual connotation. With the bunny head wearing a tux, he was sophisticated, but also frisky and playful.
Playboy Enterprises: Playboy now is the leading men’s magazine in the world, circulating more than three million copies in the U.S. and 4.5 million worldwide.
The magazine contains award-winning fiction and investigation articles, in-depth interviews with gorgeous women and celebrities, and of course women and sex. The magazine is now owned by Playboy Enterprises Inc., and Christie Hefner (Hef’s Daughter) is Chairman and CEO.
Playboy Diversification: Playboy is an international multimedia company with four income streams: publishing, licensing, online and TV. Playboy and Spice Television networks distribute programming of home video and DVD globally.
Playboy.com is one of the leading male lifestyle web destinations providing entertaining articles and Playboy news, as well as subscription-based access to photos and videos.
Playboy and Spice trademarks are licensed internationally for a range of consumer products such as clothing, toys, etc.
Mainstream Television and Film: Long before The Playboy Channel and Playboy videos and DVDs, Hef was involved in the production of several mainstream television series and motion pictures. Playboy produced The Tragedy of Macbeth (1971), Monty Python's first movie, And Now for Something Completely Different (1971), The Naked Ape (1973) and Saint Jack (1979), plus television movies Third Girl from the Left (1973), The Death of Ocean View Park (1979), The Cop and the Kid (1975) and A Whale for the Killing (1981).
Contributions: Hugh has been honored in California by the Chamber of Commerce for helping pay for the repairs to the Hollywood sign. He now has a star on the Hollywood walk of fame. In 1996 Hugh was honored in a formal ceremony by the University of California for his dedication and contributions to the film industry.
Personal Life: Hef was married to his first wife classmate Mildred Williams in 1949, and conceived two children (Christie ’52, and David ‘55). Hef’s second wife Kim Conrad was 1989’s Playmate of the Year. The two had two sons, Marston Gilen ’90, and Conrad Bradford ’91 (they are separated at this time). Hef, almost 80, is seeing three women known as the “G.O.F.” Holly Madison, who claims to be the No. 1 girlfriend, is 25, Bridget Marquard, 31, and Kendra Wilkinson, 20.
This unusual living arrangement is the subject of a new reality TV show on E! Entertainment Television, The Girls Next Door, which looks at life inside the Playboy Mansion.
Hef says that he has lived most of his personal life very publicly, so living it on E! for all to see isn't a big deal.
Hugh Hefner is considered one of the luckiest men alive - the ultimate lifestyle entrepreneur.
To All My Fellow Americans Who Voted for George W. Bush:On this, the fourth anniversary of 9/11, I'm just curious, how does it feel?How does it feel to know that the man you elected to lead us after we were attacked went ahead and put a guy in charge of FEMA whose main qualification was that he ran horse shows?
That's right. Horse shows.I really want to know -- and I ask you this in all sincerity and with all due respect -- how do you feel about the utter contempt Mr. Bush has shown for your safety? C'mon, give me just a moment of honesty.
Don't start ranting on about how this disaster in New Orleans was the fault of one of the poorest cities in America. Put aside your hatred of Democrats and liberals and anyone with the last name of Clinton.
Just look me in the eye and tell me our President did the right thing after 9/11 by naming a horse show runner as the top man to protect us in case of an emergency or catastrophe.I want you to put aside your self-affixed label of Republican/conservative/born-again/capitalist/ditto-head/right-winger and just talk to me as an American, on the common ground we both call America.Are we safer now than before 9/11? When you learn that behind the horse show runner, the #2 and #3 men in charge of emergency preparedness have zero experience in emergency preparedness, do you think we are safer?
When you look at Michael Chertoff, the head of Homeland Security, a man with little experience in national security, do you feel secure?When men who never served in the military and have never seen young men die in battle send our young people off to war, do you think they know how to conduct a war? Do they know what it means to have your legs blown off for a threat that was never there?
Do you really believe that turning over important government services to private corporations has resulted in better services for the people?Why do you hate our federal government so much?
You have voted for politicians for the past 25 years whose main goal has been to de-fund the federal government. Do you think that cutting federal programs like FEMA and the Army Corps of Engineers has been good or bad for America? GOOD OR BAD?With the nation's debt at an all-time high, do you think tax cuts for the rich are still a good idea? Will you give yours back so hundreds of thousands of homeless in New Orleans can have a home?
Do you believe in Jesus? Really? Didn't he say that we would be judged by how we treat the least among us? Hurricane Katrina came in and blew off the facade that we were a nation with liberty and justice for all.
The wind howled and the water rose and what was revealed was that the poor in America shall be left to suffer and die while the President of the United States fiddles and tells them to eat cake.That's not a joke.
The day the hurricane hit and the levees broke, Mr. Bush, John McCain and their rich pals were stuffing themselves with cake. A full day after the levees broke (the same levees whose repair funding he had cut), Mr. Bush was playing a guitar some country singer gave him. All this while New Orleans sank under water.It would take ANOTHER day before the President would do a flyover in his jumbo jet, peeking out the window at the misery 2500 feet below him as he flew back to his second home in DC.
It would then be TWO MORE DAYS before a trickle of federal aid and troops would arrive. This was no seven minutes in a sitting trance while children read "My Pet Goat" to him. This was FOUR DAYS of doing nothing other than saying "Brownie (FEMA director Michael Brown), you're doing a heck of a job!
"My Republican friends, does it bother you that we are the laughing stock of the world?And on this sacred day of remembrance, do you think we honor or shame those who died on 9/11/01? If we learned nothing and find ourselves today every bit as vulnerable and unprepared as we were on that bright sunny morning, then did the 3,000 die in vain?Our vulnerability is not just about dealing with terrorists or natural disasters.
We are vulnerable and unsafe because we allow one in eight Americans to live in horrible poverty. We accept an education system where one in six children never graduate and most of those who do can't string a coherent sentence together.
The middle class can't pay the mortgage or the hospital bills and 45 million have no health coverage whatsoever.Are we safe? Do you really feel safe? You can only move so far out and build so many gated communities before the fruit of what you've sown will be crashing through your walls and demanding retribution.
Do you really want to wait until that happens? Or is it your hope that if they are left alone long enough to soil themselves and shoot themselves and drown in the filth that fills the street that maybe the problem will somehow go away?I know you know better.
You gave the country and the world a man who wasn't up for the job and all he does is hire people who aren't up for the job. You did this to us, to the world, to the people of New Orleans. Please fix it. Bush is yours. And you know, for our peace and safety and security, this has to be fixed. What do you propose?I have an idea, and it isn't a horse show.
Any idea where all our helicopters are? It's Day 5 of Hurricane Katrina and thousands remain stranded in New Orleans and need to be airlifted. Where on earth could you have misplaced all our military choppers?
Do you need help finding them? I once lost my car in a Sears parking lot. Man, was that a drag.Also, any idea where all our national guard soldiers are? We could really use them right now for the type of thing they signed up to do like helping with national disasters.
How come they weren't there to begin with?Last Thursday I was in south Florida and sat outside while the eye of Hurricane Katrina passed over my head. It was only a Category 1 then but it was pretty nasty.
Eleven people died and, as of today, there were still homes without power. That night the weatherman said this storm was on its way to New Orleans. That was Thursday! Did anybody tell you?
I know you didn't want to interrupt your vacation and I know how you don't like to get bad news.
Plus, you had fundraisers to go to and mothers of dead soldiers to ignore and smear. You sure showed her!I especially like how, the day after the hurricane, instead of flying to Louisiana, you flew to San Diego to party with your business peeps.
Don't let people criticize you for this -- after all, the hurricane was over and what the heck could you do, put your finger in the dike?And don't listen to those who, in the coming days, will reveal how you specifically reduced the Army Corps of Engineers' budget for New Orleans this summer for the third year in a row.
You just tell them that even if you hadn't cut the money to fix those levees, there weren't going to be any Army engineers to fix them anyway because you had a much more important construction job for them -- BUILDING DEMOCRACY IN IRAQ!On Day 3, when you finally left your vacation home, I have to say I was moved by how you had your Air Force One pilot descend from the clouds as you flew over New Orleans so you could catch a quick look of the disaster.
Hey, I know you couldn't stop and grab a bullhorn and stand on some rubble and act like a commander in chief. Been there done that.There will be those who will try to politicize this tragedy and try to use it against you.
Just have your people keep pointing that out.
Respond to nothing. Even those pesky scientists who predicted this would happen because the water in the Gulf of Mexico is getting hotter and hotter making a storm like this inevitable. Ignore them and all their global warming Chicken Littles. There is nothing unusual about a hurricane that was so wide it would be like having one F-4 tornado that stretched from New York to Cleveland.
No, Mr. Bush, you just stay the course. It's not your fault that 30 percent of New Orleans lives in poverty or that tens of thousands had no transportation to get out of town. C'mon, they're black! I mean, it's not like this happened to Kennebunkport.
Can you imagine leaving white people on their roofs for five days? Don't make me laugh! Race has nothing -- NOTHING -- to do with this!You hang in there, Mr. Bush.
Just try to find a few of our Army helicopters and send them there. Pretend the people of New Orleans and the Gulf Coast are near Tikrit.
Does anybody in Washington have a clue? By Michael Goodwin
'Can't anybody here play this game?" was Casey Stengel's lament over his hapless '62 Mets. He was lucky. Today's dismal American political scene makes his Mets look like winners.
The Bushies haven't had two good days in a row since the 2004 election. And it's not just Iraq. From Katrina to Harriet Miers to Scooter Libby to Deadeye Dick Cheney to the bizarre Arab port deal, this is the no-can-do gang. When it comes to handing your rival an opportunity, the Bushies are the gift that keeps giving. But Dems won't take yes for an answer. They can't accept the gifts because they're looking at the wrong end of the horse. The White House is rudderless and Dems are fighting for seats on the Titanic.
Ted Kennedy is lecturing on ethics, Hillary Clinton is lecturing on secrecy (both speak from personal experience) and clueless Al Gore went to Saudi Arabia to bash America. Has everybody in Washington gone crazy?
In a word, yes. The timing couldn't be worse. As the world rapidly grows more complicated and dangerous, we seem less able to respond. We're getting fat, dumb and angry while China and India eat our educational lunch and terrorists plot to kill us.
It's like a husband and wife fighting over who should call the cops while they're being robbed. We need to get our American act together, or become an outsourcing post for menial jobs from Asia. No surprise - voters don't like their choices. They've given Bush an approval rating of a measly 40% - still higher than they give either party. Do you blame them?
Take your pick - tax-and-spend Democrats, or borrow-and-spend Republicans. Fight and die in Iraq with little to show for it, or be a sitting duck for Islamic terrorists. A President who ignores everybody, or a special-interest party afraid to offend anybody.
As one reader put, would you rather hunt with Cheney or ride in a car with Kennedy? Katrina was the perfect storm and now comes the predictable Washington response: Because everybody is to blame, FEMA is going to be a new nanny state unto itself. Never mind that New Orleans was the exception to the rule.
In past disasters, competent local first-responders were followed up by competent feds. Florida did most of its own digging out after a series of hurricanes and New York didn't count on FEMA after 9/11. But now we're going to nationalize every windstorm. We better also learn to speak Chinese. *** Mayor Middleman He did it again. For the second time in recent weeks, Mayor Bloomberg copycatted a Freddy Ferrer campaign theme. At a Brooklyn homeowners meeting, Bloomberg revealed why he went to war over state school aid. "Pretty please - I've tried that for four years," he said. That's exactly what Ferrer accused him of doing - kowtowing to Albany instead of using brass knuckles. If Bloomberg keeps this up, we might consider cutting out the middleman and hiring Ferrer directly. by Michael Goodwin, Daily NewsPaper, New York City