“Power is more important to men.”
– Shelly Lazarus told me this a decade ago, soon after she became chairman and CEO of ad giant Ogilvy & Mather. Now she’s planning to step down as CEO after guiding Ogilvy through the most dramatic shifts in strategy that the industry has ever seen. Pragmatic, unpretentious, and all about the work as she built long-lasting relationships with clients like Ford (F), IBM (IBM), and American Express (AMXP), Lazarus stayed at WPP-owned (WPPGY) Ogilvy longer than she had planned. Also a director at General Electric (GE) and Merck (MRK), she’s one of a few who has been on Fortune’s Most Powerful Women in Business list every year since its 1998 launch — and also on a growing tally of women due to drop off this year. Are women losing power in corporate America? See Jessica Shambora’s post on top women in tech.