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America’s 10 Most Powerful Female CEOs

Women run the show at giant corporations, including 4 Dow stocks

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Meg Whitman, President and CEO
Hewlett-Packard (10th)

Profile: Meg Whitman was born on Aug. 4, 1956, in Oyster Bay, N.Y. The 55-year-old received a BA in economics from Princeton and an MBA from Harvard. She was appointed CEO of Hewlett-Packard (NYSE:HPQ) on Sept. 22, 2011.

The Story: When HP’s board showed CEO Leo Apotheker the door last September, they knew the 73-year-old tech giant needed fresh blood. Who better to shake things up than former eBay (NASDAQ:EBAY) president and CEO and California Republican gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman.

With Whitman seven and a half months into the job, IT research firm Gartner reports that HP’s PC sales grew by 3.5% in the first quarter, blowing away the industry average of 1.7%. Whitman is already planning to merge HP’s computer and printer lines and is staking a claim in the white-hot cloud-computing arena.

As an undergraduate at Princeton, Whitman had aspired to be a doctor, but after a summer spent selling magazines, she switched from math and science to economics. After spending nine years in management positions at organizations such as Procter & Gamble (NYSE:PG), Disney (NYSE:DIS) and Hasbro (NASDAQ:HAS), Whitman joined the three-year-old auction site. The rest is history.

Whitman grew a company with 30 employees, $4 million in revenue and a simple black-and-white web page into an e-commerce colossus that a decade later boasted 15,000 employees and $8 billion in revenue. Now, the entrepreneurial Whitman gets to build a business again, reviving the fortunes of one of the computer industry’s most iconic brands.

As of this writing, Susan J. Aluise did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.

Article printed from InvestorPlace Media,

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