50 Most Powerful Women in Business: Whitman In, Oprah Down, Bartz Off

Last Updated Oct 3, 2011 8:06 AM EDT

The FORTUNE list of the 50 Most Powerful Women in Business is out and for the first time in five years, Mac & Cheese beat Pepsi. Rather, Kraft CEO Irene Rosenfeld landed in the top spot, pushing PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi to No. 2. The top two women on the list confirm a broader trend for powerful women in business: they seem to come disproportionately from consumer goods companies.


The big surprise is who's back in the standings. Less than two weeks after being named CEO of Hewlett-Packard, former eBay CEO and wanna-be CA governor Meg Whitman made it back on the list at No. 9. Whitman was a fixture on the list from 1999 to 2007.

Another new entrant on the list is Denise Morrison, President and CEO of Campbell Soup at No. 21, who placed 16 spots ahead of her sister Maggie Wilderotter (Chairman and CEO Frontier Communications). They are the first sisters to make the list, which makes me wonder, what on earth did their parents do to create such successful women?

Oprah Winfrey lost ground this year, tumbling 10 spots to No. 16, after the end of her syndicated television talk show. Oprah is now devoting her time to the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN), which she launched earlier this year. As the media world waits to see whether Oprah can transform cable TV, her power is eroding.

As expected, former Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz was knocked off the list--she was No. 10 last year. Two notables from Bank of America dropped off as well. Barbara Desoer, President of the bank's Home Loans Division and Sallie Krawcheck, the former president of Bank of America/Merrill Lynch Global Wealth and Investment Management.

Finally, in the "huh?" category: Meredith Whitney, the municipal bond market Cassandra made the list at No. 48, despite her prediction of an imminent collapse has thus far been flat-out wrong, while Karen Peetz, the Vice Chairman, BNY Mellon and Ruth Porat, the CFO of Morgan Stanley didn't even make the list!

Here are the Top 10 Most Powerful Women in Business:
1. Irene Rosenfeld: Chairman and CEO Kraft Foods
2. Indra Nooyi: Chairman and CEO PepsiCo.
3. Patricia Woertz: Chairman, CEO and president Archer Daniels Midland
4. Ellen Kullman: Chairman and CEO DuPont
5. Angela Braly: Chairman, president and CEO Wellpoint
6. Andrea Jung: Chairman and CEO Avon Products
7. Ginni Rometty: SVP and group executive, IBM sales, marketing, and strategy IBM
8. Ursula Burns: Chairman and CEO Xerox
9. Meg Whitman: CEO and president Hewlett-Packard
10. Sherilyn McCoy: Vice chairman, executive committee, office of the chairman Johnson & Johnson
More on MoneyWatch:

  • Jill Schlesinger On Twitter» On Google+»

    View all articles by Jill Schlesinger on CBS MoneyWatch »
    Jill Schlesinger, CFP®, is the Emmy-nominated, Business Analyst for CBS News. She covers the economy, markets, investing and anything else with a dollar sign on TV, radio (including her nationally syndicated radio show), the web and her blog, "Jill on Money." Prior to her second career at CBS, Jill spent 14 years as the co-owner and Chief Investment Officer for an independent investment advisory firm. She began her career as a self-employed options trader on the Commodities Exchange of New York, following her graduation from Brown University.