Disney's Anne Sweeney, Facebook's Sheryl Sandberg Rise on Fortune's Powerful Women List

Anne Sweeney - 39th AFI Life Achievement Award - P - 2011
Kevin Winter/Getty Images

See how NBCUniversal's Bonnie Hammer and Lauren Zalaznick and Sony's Amy Pascal rank; Oprah Winfrey drops as her influence is seen "in flux without the platform of her eponymous syndicated talk show."

NEW YORK - Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg and Disney/ABC Television Group president Anne Sweeney have overtaken Oprah Winfrey in the latest annual Fortune list of the 50 most powerful women in business.

Fortune said Thursday that on its 14th annual list Sandberg climbed from the 16th spot last year to the 12th position, making her the highest-ranked woman in the media, entertainment and online space.

Sweeney ranks 14th, up one spot from her position on the 2010 list, while Winfrey dropped from the 6th rank to the 16th. "Oprah Winfrey fell 10 spots to no. 16, her power and influence in flux without the platform of her eponymous syndicated talk show," Fortune argued.

Other powerful women from the media and online industries on the list are 28th-ranked Google executive Susan Wojcicki (up from the 43th spot in 2010), NBCUniversal power players Bonnie Hammer (36th, up from 45th) and Lauren Zalaznick (in spot 43, up from 46), Google's Marissa Mayer (38, up from 42), Abbe Raven of A&E Television Networks who is a new entrant to the list and Amy Pascal, co-chairman, Sony Pictures Entertainment, and chairman, Sony Pictures Entertainment Motion Picture Group, who made the 50th spot, down from 47 last year.

“There’s been plenty of turmoil atop Fortune’s annual Most Powerful Women list," Fortune wrote. Kraft Foods CEO Irene Rosenfeld took the No. 1 position from PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi, who topped the list for five years, but this year came in second.

Carol Bartz, who recently lost her job as CEO of Yahoo, also lost her spot on the power list after ranking 10th last year as did Judy McGrath, former chairman and CEO of Viacom's MTV Networks, who held the 18th spot last year before leaving the entertainment company.

Meanwhile, "Meg Whitman crashed the party, coming in at no. 9 when she became CEO of Hewlett-Packard," the magazine wrote.

The annual list is compiled by Fortune editors, who consider four criteria: the size and importance of the executives' business, their company's health and direction, the arc of the woman’s career, as well as "societal and cultural influence."

Fortune separately highlighted 10 female business leaders who are "doing it for themselves" in a quest to create the next great company. Among media and entertainment figures, it mentioned "The Editor" Arianna Huffingtonand Chelsea Handleras "The Self-Made Woman."

On its list of the highest-paid female executives, Fortune included HSN boss Mindy Grossman in the 13th spot with a 2010 compensation of $12.1 million, followed by Bartz in the 14th spot with $11.9 million. Google executive Shona Brown captured the 6th position with $16.3 million.

Email: Georg.Szalai@thr.com
Twitter: @georgszalai