Every year, Fortune releases a much-anticipated compilation of some of America’s most esteemed and savvy businesswomen who are reinventing, reenergizing, and revolutionizing their industries. Three African American women were featured:
At #13 is Ursula Burns, chairman and CEO of Xerox. She is credited as the first African American woman to head a Fortune 500 Company. In 2009, Forbes named her the 14th most powerful woman in the world. Last year, she was ranked #7 on Fortune’s list. She is a graduate of Columbia University.
Rosalind Brewer, president and CEO at Sam’s Club, is ranked at #15. Last year, she ranked at #13. Her position at Sam's makes her the first African American CEO at one of Wal-Mart Stores Inc.’s business units. She is credited with increasing sales and operating income as well as spearheading the company's online business. She earned a bachelor’s degree from Spelman College and also attended the advanced management program at The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania.
Showrunner Shonda Rhimes, a newcomer to the list, ranks at #50. Fortune describes her long-running television dramas on the ABC network as “mini-empires” and “major money-makers.” She is the creator of hit shows Scandal, Grey’s Anatomy, and Private Practice. This year, President Obama appointed Rhimes to the board of the Kennedy Center for the Arts. She is lauded for her impact on popular culture.
Past lists have included media mogul Oprah Winfrey.