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Nooyi overpowers Oprah, Meg

Fortune magazine ranks the Chennai-born CEO of PepsiCo ahead of Oprah Winfrey and eBay chief Meg Whitman, reports S Rajagopalan.

india Updated: Oct 04, 2006 15:03 IST
S Rajagopalan
S Rajagopalan

Indra Nooyi, the Chennai-born CEO of soft-drinks giant PepsiCo, has been named the world's most powerful woman in business this year by Fortune magazine.

Nooyi, who jumped 10 spots from last year in Fortune's list of 50, upstaged corporate heavyweights like eBay's Meg Whitman and popular talk-show hostess Oprah Winfrey.

Whitman, who topped the rankings for the past two years, is at No. 3 after Nooyi and Xerox's chairman and CEO Anne Mulcahy. Winfrey, chairman of Harpo Inc., is ranked No. 8.

In a profile on Nooyi, the magazine says, "Pepsi's brand-new chief 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."

Fortune says Nooyi believes in constant reinvention and quotes her as saying: "The minute you've developed a new business model, it's extinct, because somebody is going to copy it."

A month ago, Fortune's rival Forbes had ranked Nooyi the world's fourth most powerful woman -- after German Chancellor Angela Merkel, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Chinese Vice-Premier Wu Yi.

First Published: Oct 04, 2006 15:03 IST