The Broadsheet: September 18th

September 18, 2014, 12:27 PM UTC
Fortune

Good morning, Broadsheet readers. Fortune today announced its annual list of The 50 Most Powerful Women in Business. Nearly half of the women on our list are CEOs, which is a record. As the list’s editor, Jennifer Reingold writes: “Our women are leading—and in many cases pushing through difficult transformations—in heavy industries such as tech, energy, defense, and autos.” Ever wonder how Fortune picks its Most Powerful Women? Click here for a video explaining how a team of reporters (including yours truly) spend months in an intense vetting process before finalizing the list. Over the coming days, The Broadsheet will dive into the big profiles from our Most Powerful Women issue. Read on and have a POWERFUL Thursday!

EVERYONE'S TALKING

 Ginni Rometty tops Most Powerful Women list. IBM's Chairman and CEO is the No. 1 woman on our list for the third year in a row. IBM's revenues declined again, but Rometty's strategy of investing in new technologies is beginning to bear fruit. GM CEO Mary Barra came in at No. 2 (up from No. 29 last year) as she works to improve the Detroit automaker's infamous culture. There are nine newcomers on this year's list, including Apple SVP Angela Ahrendts and Chanel Global CEO Maureen Chiquet. Only 6% of the women on the list are under 45, and Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer is the youngest at 39. Fortune

ALSO IN FORTUNE'S MPW PACKAGE

Cashing in on power. Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg was the highest-paid woman on our list this year (by far), with $38 million in 2013 compensation. Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer came in second with $24 million. Interestingly enough, our highest-paid women were among the two women who fell the most on our list this year: Mayer fell eight spots this year to No. 16. and Sandberg fell five spots to No. 10. Fortune

Ana Botín: EMEA's Most Powerful Woman. The Banco Santander chairman came in at No. 1 on our list of the Most Powerful Women in the Europe/Middle East/Africa region. Botín propelled to the top of the list last week after becoming just one of six women to lead a Fortune Global 100 company, succeeding her late father. “It’s another glass ceiling broken,” says Santander director Sheila Bair of Botín’s appointment. “She’s smart, she’s savvy… I can’t imagine anyone better qualified.” Want to be an MPW? Move to England. Nine of our top 25 in EMEA are based there.  Fortune

 Gail Kelly: Asia-Pacific's Most Powerful Woman. The Managing Director and CEO of Westpac Group runs the Australian bank with $38.5 billion in revenue. Aside from keeping the company's profits and stock price rising, Kelly has made headway toward gender parity in Westpac senior management positions, which is now 42% female (up from 32% in 2010). Most of our power players in the Asia-Pacific region work in India or China.  Fortune

Apple's new voice. Denise Young Smith was promoted to Apple's top HR role in February, with an eye toward making the iGiant more inclusive. “Sometimes there’s something comforting in realizing that you’ve failed and that you’ve got to do something better,” says Young Smith.  Fortune

The confidence gap. "Women are on track to earn $18 trillion in America this year; that’s 50% more than they earned just five years ago," according to Fidelity's Abby Johnson and Kathleen Murphy. Despite this increase in wealth among women, too few of them are taking control of it. Why? Many women lack the confidence to make decisions about their own investments.  Fortune

 Janet Yellen's biggest battle. Over the past 15 years, the U.S. has gone through a tech bubble, a housing bubble and a devastating financial crisis. Yet the Fed Chair finds herself confronting the phantom-like issue of rising inflation. She plans to hold off on rate hikes until escalating prices are a reality, not merely a possibility. Fortune         

BROADVIEW

5 things you didn't know about IBM and Ginni Rometty 

IBM CEO Ginni Rometty has three rules she follows in her goal to take the old-school company through a massive cultural transformation: 1) Don't protect the past, 2) Never be defined by your product and 3) Always transform yourself. In Fortune's October 6th issue, Senior Writer Michal Lev-Ram explores how despite IBM's revenues shrinking nine quarters in a row, most people now agree that Rometty is the right leader for the company. “She has this unique ability to make you comfortable in the change while still being uncomfortable,” says John Kelly, senior vice president of IBM Research. “It’s really hard to describe.” Her plan? Get IBM's massive employee base to move faster than ever and invest in high-growth area like mobile, cloud and big data analytics.

During the reporting process, Lev-Ram learned loads about IBM and Rometty. Here are 5 interesting points that were left out of her feature:

1. IBM has a lot of old blood. But in April 2014 Rometty brought in some fresh talent: Ken Keverian, now SVP of corporate strategy at Big Blue, is a highly respected former senior partner from the Boston Consulting Group. In his new role, he is tasked with "developing strategies that are linked to execution plans for a new era of computing, new markets and new clients." That's a whole lot of newness in a company whose executive team has gone largely unchanged in recent years.

2. Rometty got "help" from other powerful women. It may be ancient history, but Rometty's successful integration of PricewaterhouseCoopers Consulting back in 2002 (which played a big role in her eventual ascent to the top job at IBM) was set in motion by Carly Fiorina, then CEO of Hewlett-Packard. Fiorina blundered her own attempted acquisition of the large consulting group, but it paved the way for Rometty to snap up and assimilate PwC. The rest really is history—IBM's $57 billion global services unit is now its biggest revenue generator.

3. Rometty's Watson love runs deep. On the day the computing system beat its opponents on Jeopardy! (back in 2011), she knew the technology could play a big part in IBM's future. "I remember coming home and saying to my husband, 'I think I just witnessed some piece of history,'" she told Fortune. "It was then that I knew we had something, that this would be an era unlike any eras before it." Of course, Watson's ultimate success is still TBD, but Rometty has followed through her commitment to the uber-smart system with a $1 billion investment towards development and commercialization.

4. Rometty has long viewed Africa as the next frontier. Back in 2011, as SVP in charge of corporate strategy, she commissioned a team of 20 company leaders to spend several months devising a plan for IBM's growth on the continent. In addition to opening up a research center in Nairobi, this year alone Rometty has spent about three weeks in Africa. She also announced a $100 million investment, called Project Lucy, to bring Watson to Africa."She spends a lot of time on the ground there, several times a year," says Jonathan Berman, an expert on doing business in Africa. "That's a lot for a leader of a Fortune 100 company."

5. "Brain-like" chips could be the future. In addition to continuing efforts on Watson and cloud computing, IBM's 3,000 researchers are working on a wide variety of projects. "Brain-like" chips that can process multiple sensory inputs, a new class of polymers that are stronger than bone and completely recyclable, and sequencing and deciphering the genetic code of the cacao plant.

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IN THE HEADLINES

 Indra Nooyi breaks NFL sponsor silence. On Wednesday, the CEO of PepsiCo issued a statement on the NFL’s current crisis. "I am deeply disturbed that the repugnant behavior of a few players and the NFL’s acknowledged mishandling of these issues, is casting a cloud over the integrity of the league and the reputations of the majority of players who’ve dedicated their lives to a career they love," says Nooyi. Despite her impassioned words, PepsiCo remains a sponsor of the NFL. Nooyi went on to call league commissioner Roger Goodell a “man of integrity.” Meanwhile, Carolina Panthers star Greg Hardy and Arizona Cardinals running back Jonathan Dwyer are the latest players to be benched because of a past domestic violence convictions.  Fortune

Activist investor attacks DuPont. Trian Fund Management is pressuring the chemical giant to break up its corporate structure even further by splitting off its agriculture and nutrition businesses from its specialty-chemical products segment. CEO Ellen Kullman is resisting the recommendation, saying a transformation is already underway at DuPont. WSJ

 Katie Couric tackles gun violence. The Yahoo anchor is partnering with producer Stephanie Soechtig to create a documentary that will examine U.S. gun-control laws and the NRA. The duo previously tackled childhood obesity in this year's documentary Fed Up.  Hollywood Reporter

ON MY RADAR

9 women awarded 2014 MacArthur Fellows Bizwomen

Women don't have to boycott the NFL  Time

Meet the woman fighting the NFL's tax-exempt status.  Politico

Women gamers are beginning to outnumber men Quartz

How do I find a mentor?  Fast Company

QUOTE

I told them at the outset, Look, we’re going to talk about this girl thing, and we did. What I discovered is there was this sense that I had no prior experience dealing with men. Once they realized that wow, women do actually do things … and succeed in a world dominated by men, then we were fine. But we had to talk about it.

Michele Roberts, the incoming executive director of the National Basketball Players Association, talks about convincing men in the organization that she can lead.