BUSINESSWEEK ONLINE : SEPTEMBER 27, 1999 ISSUE
COVER STORY -- E.BIZ -- THE E.BIZ 25

Ellen M. Hancock


ELLEN M. HANCOCK

EXODUS COMMUNICATIONS

Position: CEO

Contribution: Proved that data-centers-for-hire can be trusted to handle corporations' most vital information over the Net.

Ambition: Make the Web as reliable and taken for granted as the phone system.

In July, 1997, Ellen M. Hancock had a serious self-confidence problem. Despite a 29-year career at IBM (IBM), she was pushed out as chief technologist of Apple Computer Inc. (AAPL) by the mercurial Steven P. Jobs. She wondered if she should bother seeking a CEO job given what she describes as a sullied reputation.

Her blue period is over. Since joining Exodus Communications Inc. (EXDS) in March, 1998, Hancock, 56, now CEO, has emerged as a driving force behind one of the hottest new trends in cyberspace: Web hosting. With Internet startups and old-guard behemoths alike wanting to get on the Net with a minimum of money and hassle, dozens of companies have sprung up, offering to run their Web operations for them. Hancock offers a sorely needed nuts-and-bolts approach that is convincing customers they can entrust their most vital computing jobs to outsiders via the Web. Next up: She plans on making Internet communications more secure by running them across private networks. ''We think we can change the way the Net looks and feels,'' she says.

Clearly, Hancock has the right formula. With a network of 22 data centers around the nation, Exodus, now No. 3 in Web hosting, is catapulting toward the front of the pack. Last year, the company's revenues grew a staggering 308%, to $215 million, and forecasts call for their doubling again this year.

While memories of her time at Apple still smart, Hancock is just relieved she didn't finish her career there. Instead, she has forged a critical place for herself in the New Economy.

By Peter Burrows

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[empire builders]
Jeffrey P. Bezos
AMAZON.COM INC.

Stephen M. Case
AMERICA ONLINE INC.

Timothy A. Koogle
YAHOO! INC.

[the innovators]
Louis H. Borders
WEBVAN GROUP INC.

Jay S. Walker
PRICELINE.COM

Margaret C. Whitman
EBAY INC.

Glen Meakem
FREE MARKETS ONLINE INC.

James H. Clark
MYCFO INC.

Christos M. Cotsakos
E*TRADE GROUP INC.

[bankrollers]
Masayoshi Son
SOFTBANK CORP., JAPAN

Robert C. Kagle
BENCHMARK CAPITAL

Lawton W. Fitt
GOLDMAN SACHS & CO.

L. John Doerr
KLEINER PERKINS CAUFIELD & BYERS  

Bernard Arnault
LVMH MOET HENNESSY
LOUIS VUITTON  

[the visionaries]
Mary G. Meeker
MORGAN STANLEY DEAN WITTER

John Hagel III
MCKINSEY & CO.

William Joy
SUN MICROSYSTEMS

[the architects]
Louis V. Gerstner Jr.
IBM CORP.

Pehong Chen
BROADVISION INC.

David C. Peterschmidt
INKTOMI INC.

Kevin J. O'Connor
DOUBLECLICK

Ellen M. Hancock
EXODUS COMMUNICATIONS

[the pace setters]
David S. Pottruck
CHARLES SCHWAB CORP.

John T. Chambers
CISCO SYSTEMS

Michael S. Dell
DELL COMPUTER



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