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Patricia Woertz, Archer Daniels Midland (ADM)

Hewlett Packard’s (HPQ) CEO, Meg Whitman, is no stranger to power. Prior to assuming the role of Hewlett Packard’s CEO in 2011, Whitman was CEO of eBay from 1998 to 2008. Whitman has also held executive positions at Disney (DIS), Procter & Gamble (PG) and Hasbro (HAS). Whitman became CEO of Hewlett Packard at a time when the company was in desperate need of solid direction. Prior to Whitman coming on board, the company had experienced a disastrous attempt to enter the tablet market, and was in the process of deciding whether or not to exit the PC market. Whitman realized the importance of the company’s PC business, and quickly decided that it would not be shut down. HPQ was in a free fall when Whitman took over as CEO in September 2011, but news of her appointment put an end to the slide. She once gave the advice that people should never let anyone tell them they are not smart enough, that something is a dumb idea, or that no one has ever been able to do something so don’t try. Hewlett Packard ranks number 10 on the Fortune 500 list, and currently gets a 3 STARs (out of 5) hold rating from S&P.

Michael Fowlkes

Michael Fowlkes is a financial writer who has been with the Fresh Brewed Media family since 2004. Over the course of his tenure with Fresh Brewed Media, he has worn many hats, including portfolio manager, options analyst, and writer. Michael received his undergraduate degree from Virginia Tech in Accounting and got his start in finance working as a stock trader for six years at Chase Investment Counsel in Charlottesville, Va.