Xerox’s Ursula Burns, Shonda Rhimes Among ‘Fortune’s 50 Most Powerful Women In Business

October 10, 2013  |  

Fortune‘s list of the 50 most powerful women in business includes a few women of color, among them Ursula Burns, CEO of Xerox at number 13; Rosalind Brewer, the CEO and president of Sam’s Club, a Wal-Mart company, at number 15; and Shonda Rhimes at number 50.

The list notes that Burns’ Xerox makes more than half of its $22 billion in revenue from business services other than copying. We spoke with Burns, the first African-American woman to lead a Fortune 500 company, this summer before she received the Prism Award for Graphic Communications Management and Technology. “At all levels of leadership, we’re starting to see more and more women and African-American males. We’re just at the start. It’s evolutionary, not revolutionary,” she told us.

Brewer is head of a $56.4 billion company, one of three companies in the Wal-Mart behemoth. Not only is she driving up the numbers for Sam’s Club, which would be a Fortune 500 company on its own, she’s also a board member for Lockheed Martin, a company that also appears on this list of powerful women a couple of times. (Marillyn Hewson, the defense contractor’s CEO and president, is number four on the list.)

And of course we know who Shonda Rhimes is. One of the few women in the entertainment business to appear on the list, Rhimes is also among the youngest at 43 years old. (Marissa Mayer, 38, Yahoo’s CEO at number eight and Marianne Lake, JPMorgan’s 44-year-old CFO at number 49, are a couple of the others.) Not only are Rhimes’ shows — Scandal and Grey’s Anatomy — generating dollars for Disney’s ABC network, Fortune cites her impact on pop culture. In a related story, Rhimes says that the secret sauce for a show like Scandal is hard work. “You’re forced to innovate. There’s no resting on laurels,” she says.

Total aside, but when a fan asked whether Mellie will be given a love interest so that Fitz can see how he would react “to the table being turned,” Rhimes says, “Fitz is Mellie’s love interest.” Gah!

Number one on the list is IBM’s chairman, president and CEO Ginny Rometty who’s been leading the century-old computer company for two years.

Trending on MadameNoire

Comment Disclaimer: Comments that contain profane or derogatory language, video links or exceed 200 words will require approval by a moderator before appearing in the comment section. XOXO-MN