The Power of Russo

10:00 AM -- We already knew that, as CEO of Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU), Pat Russo is a very powerful woman.

But did we know she is the 10th most powerful woman in the world?

Well, we do now, because that's her ranking in the annual Forbes World's Most Powerful Women list, which is topped by Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Now, I know what some folk will instantly say: "How can Russo be so far up that list when AlcaLu is having such a rotten 2007?" (See AlcaLu's Russo: We're Under Attack!, Alcatel-Lucent Slumps on Q2 Loss , and Merger Tears Into AlcaLu's Sales.)

Well, the list is about power, and not based on current performance, and there's no doubt that Russo holds a very strong position in the business world. But the 10th most powerful woman in the world? Hmmm...

According to the list, Russo is slightly less powerful than Irene Rosenfeld, CEO of Kraft Foods (ranked ninth), but more powerful than Oprah Winfrey (in 21st place), Hillary Rodham Clinton (ranked 25th), and my personal friend, Queen Elizabeth II (in 23rd place).

Other women from the world of technology that made the list were Safra Catz, the CFO of Oracle Corp. (Nasdaq: ORCL) (ranked 28th), and Ann Livermore, executive VP at HP Inc. (NYSE: HPQ) (36th).

All this gets me wondering: Where would Russo rank in a "Most Powerful People in Telecommunications" list?

— Ray Le Maistre, Powerlists Editor, Light Reading

delphi 12/5/2012 | 3:03:19 PM
re: The Power of Russo I was almost tempted to write about why this is not about a glass ceiling for females and why it is about ability.

This is just too big a joke to make the effort.

Being tough should be an attribute to any CEO whether female or male.

Being incompetant and nasty is an individual trait regardless of sex.
digits 12/5/2012 | 3:03:19 PM
re: The Power of Russo So Pat gets to be #10, but Cindy Christy and Mary Chen don't get a look in? :-)

It's only a Forbes list, but still, makes for some entertainment.

I'd have Oprah higher up....
turing 12/5/2012 | 3:03:17 PM
re: The Power of Russo Are you kidding me?
As a Senator she has 1/100th the say in Senate matters of US Government, and she's one of 3-4 likely next Presidents and Commander in Chief of one of the most powerful military forces on Earth. Since she's considered probably #1 or #2 in that running right now, every word she says gets recorded and listened to, debated and argued about. You don't think she pulls a little more power than the chairman of friggin Xerox??? Or PepsiCo for that matter?

Wow, you know where Forbes gets their advertising dollar from, and not from.

I would say Ruth Ginsburg should also be higher - after all she has 1/9th the ruling on major cases that affect law and freedom for a fairly large nation. My guess is she holds a bit more power than the CEO of Sara Lee. Although the Blueberry muffins make it a close call.
flam 12/5/2012 | 3:03:17 PM
re: The Power of Russo (Ability to randomly conduct layoffs)/(Ethics) ?
digits 12/5/2012 | 3:03:16 PM
re: The Power of Russo Well, it was kinda hard to figure out from what I saw on the Forbes site exactly what they had done to come to their conclusions.

I also found the Sara Lee CEO's ranking somewhat questionable, but being based in Southern England it's kinda tough to know exactly what sort of impact a change in recipe or the recall of some cheesecakes might have on the psyche of your average human being...

Maybe the list is somewhat slanted to the USA? I know the top spots aren't taken by American women but still....

Anyway, it's good to see our industry represented, for whatever reasons.
turing 12/5/2012 | 3:03:16 PM
re: The Power of Russo A = ability to affect people's lives, world, etc.
B = amount spent on Forbes advertising
power_rank = random_choice_of(A,B)
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