Manager Kay Johnsen finally can close the books for fiscal 1980 at the Clarion Hotel Ernst in Kristiansand, Norway. That's because an envelope arrived in the mail last week containing $80 in cash to cover the tab run up by a guest who left without paying for his room or for the food and drinks he'd charged to it. In an accompanying note, the sender apologized, explaining that his "lifestyle at the time" prompted his actions but that his conscience had been bothering him over the past 24 years. He signed it, "One who wants to make good, and hereby has." Said Johnsen, "All is forgiven - and probably by higher powers than us."
Meg Whitman, chief of the online auction website eBay, has uprooted Hewlett-Packard's Carly Fiorina as the most powerful woman in corporate America, according to Fortune magazine. Fiorina had held the top spot since the publication began its annual rankings in 1998, but she dropped a notch as her company struggled. Fortune rates each woman in its survey on such criteria as her employer's size and importance in the global marketplace, her clout within the company, and her career trajectory. The most powerful US businesswomen, according to Fortune's 2004 ranking:
1. Meg Whitman chief executive, eBay
2. Carly Fiorina chief executive, Hewlett-Packard
3. Andrea Jung chief executive, Avon Products
4. Anne Mulcahy chief executive, Xerox Corp.
5. Marjorie Magner chief executive, Citigroup's Global Consumer Group
6. Oprah Winfrey chairwoman, Harpo, Inc.
7. Sallie Krawcheck finance chief, Citigroup Inc.
8. Abigail Johnson president, Fidelity Management and Research
9. Pat Woertz executive vice president, ChevronTexaco Corp.
10. Karen Katen executive vice president, Pfizer Inc.