Good morning, Broadsheet readers. Apologies to any of you who had a hard time reading yesterday’s newsletter because of a funky formatting problem. Today, we hear from the newest CEO of a Fortune 1000 company before she takes her first steps into the C-suite, and read on for a quirky quiz on your chances of succeeding in the workplace. Have a great Wednesday.
• Serena Williams moves on. The top seed and two-time defending U.S. Open champion bested 18-year-old American wildcard Taylor Townsend in a 6-3, 6-1 win during the first round of the tournament. In the August 25 issue of Sports Illustrated, writer S.L. Price tracks the highs and lows of Williams’s somewhat controversial career. SI
ALSO IN THE HEADLINES
• Jessica Alba nabs $70 million. The Honest Company, a maker of eco-friendly baby products co-founded by the actress, raised $70 million in new venture capital funding at a valuation of nearly $1 billion. Next up will be an IPO. WSJ
• Ann Taylor hires JPMorgan. Retailer Ann Inc. has tapped JPMorgan to help explore a potential sale, according to Reuters. CEO Kay Krill’s decision to bring in an outside advisor comes after pressure from activist investors. Reuters
• Susan Cameron gets a reality check. As Reynolds American CEO makes her big push into electronic cigarettes, sales of e-cigs have fallen recently at traditional retail outlets like convenience stores. Instead, sales are shifting to thousands of new “vape shops” where sales are not measured. Cameron also is combating rising scrutiny, as the World Health Organization said on Tuesday that federal officials should restrict advertising, indoor use and flavors that appeal to youth. WSJ
• India to PepsiCo: Make us healthier. During a meeting with CEO Indra Nooyi, Indian food official Harsimrat Kaur Badal asked PepsiCo to work on creating nutritious processed foods to improve the health of India’s hungriest children. Almost 900 million Indian kids are malnourished and close to starvation. Bloomberg
• Chelsea Handler says goodbye to E! Jennifer Aniston, Miley Cyrus, Melissa McCarthy and Sandra Bullock were among the celebrities who joined Handler for her final show on E! last night. Handler is heading to Netflix to host yet another talk show. Variety
• Harvard leads race for female entrepreneurs. While the number of female Harvard Business School alums founding companies still lags behind the school’s number of male alumni founders, HBS has produced more female founders over the past five years than has any other MBA program. Fortune
• Albright called in by hedge funder. Billionaire hedge fund manager Paul Singer has hired Madeleine Albright’s consulting firm to help him secure funds owed to him by the Argentine government. Although the country is cash-strapped and riddled with debt, Singer is demanding to be repaid in full. NYPost
• Goldman Sachs and Fortune award women leaders. In 2006, Fortune and the U.S. State Department launched the Global Women’s Mentoring Partnership, sponsored by Goldman Sachs. The program brings female rising-stars from developing countries to the U.S. each year to shadow participants of Fortune‘s Most Powerful Women Summit. The Global Women Leaders Award sponsored by Goldman Sachs, honors star alumni. This year’s winners, selected yesterday by a panel of MPW Summit participants, are two entrepreneurs: Rehmah Kasule of Uganda and Gircilene Gilca de Castro of Brazil.
Meet the newest Fortune 1,000 CEO
Kathryn Bufano today begins her term as CEO of Bon-Ton Stores, a regional department store company based in York, Pennsylvania. The former president and chief merchandising officer with Belk Stores, Bufano will become the 52nd female CEO in the Fortune 1000 — bringing the overall percentage to an all-time high of 5%. I talked with Bufano about her career, her goals for Bon-Ton and her advice for women in retail who are just starting out.
What career aspirations did you have in college?
I wanted to be a teacher. My father wanted me to be a lawyer, but I loved to shop. I am originally from Chicago and I was in a store one day and I asked my mom how it all gets organized and comes to be. She said it had to do with merchandising and buying so, from that point forward, I changed my major and knew that I wanted to get into the retail business. I really enjoyed how things came together and how things were organized and how this magic of merchandising comes to be.
What were some early career lessons?
The department store industry has been under challenge and revolution throughout my whole entire career. I grew up in Chicago and if you were to say to me growing up that I would spend half my career in New York, I would have said no way. Lord & Taylor was not in the Chicago area, but they had a woman regional vice president at the time who was really very inspirational. I joined Lord & Taylor because they were opening up a lot of stores and they asked me to join their training program in New York City. So the big lesson was not to be afraid to be a change agent personally and professionally and your career will blossom. If I didn’t take that big step of moving to New York, I would have had a totally different trajectory.
What are your challenges moving forward?
At Bon-Ton, we have challenges. We need to improve the business. There is no mistaken journey about that. We have to understand the short term, but part of the joy is understanding the long-term focus and how we are going to differentiate ourselves in the marketplace. I have spent my whole life in the department store business and what has been successful for me is to quickly identify some short-term wins that we can execute on so we can have a much improved Christmas season. That always galvanizes the team.
What advice do you give to young women who aspire to be CEOs?
I always say chart your own career path and have a vision. I always aspired to get to the next step. I always tried to function at the next level and add value and make sure I was the go-to person at whatever level. Women have to make sure that they are organized in their personal life and business life and take risks. You have to have confidence in yourself to make mistakes to learn and grow. If you play it safe all the time, you are not going to maximize your potential.
Click over to Fortune.com for the full interview with Bufano.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
• QUIZ: Can women ever win at work? With some help from UNC’S Kenan Flager School of Business, Businessweek put together an entertaining quiz that uses academic research to determine the likelihood that you’ll succeed on the job. Businessweek
• The abrasiveness trap. High-achieving men and women are treated differently in performance reviews, according to a study exclusive to Fortune. Women’s reviews are more likely to include critical feedback that more often than not suggests they be less abrasive with their tone. Fortune
• Non-profit teaches women to run for office. The Women’s Campaign School at Yale trained the likes of Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords to run for public office and win. Of the 535 seats in the 113th U.S. Congress, just 18.5% are held by women. Fast Company
ON MY RADAR
Zaha Hadid sues for defamation Quartz
Student starts campaign for stories of parents opting out of work for kids AVC
Can toys get more girls into engineering? WSJ
Calling out Silicon Valley’s gender problem Fast Company
Professional women’s network Levo League opens San Fran office BizWomen
I definitely didn’t see myself playing tennis at my age. But it just so happens that I love to play, I love to compete. I’m having fun. I just really can’t let it go. ... I don’t want to let go. I won’t let go. That’s why I’m still here.Serena Williams on still playing tennis at 32.