BUSINESSWEEK ONLINE : NOVEMBER 20, 2000 ISSUE
BUSINESS WEEK E.BIZ -- PERSONALITIES

Photo of young Ellen Marie Hancock

Ellen Marie Hancock


Born: Apr. 15, 1943, in the Bronx, N.Y.

Education: Bachelor's degree in mathematics, College of New Rochelle, 1965. Master's degree in mathematics, Fordham University, 1966.

Early goals: Hancock--a devout Catholic--had wanted to become a nun. She bagged that idea by her late teens, but still attends church most Sundays.

Career: Spent nearly three decades at IBM, climbing from junior programmer to senior VP in charge of 15,000 employees, 1966-95. She then spent two ill-fated years as COO of National Semiconductor and chief technical officer at Apple Computer, before bouncing back as CEO of Exodus Communications in March, 1998.

Management skills: Excels as an operations executive, driving large organizations and focusing on customers' immediate needs. ''Maybe she's not a great visionary, but she's exceptional at execution,'' says Yankee Group Chairman Howard Anderson.

Work ethic: Known for her 80-hour work weeks, Hancock is typically online by 6:30 a.m. and works at least until midnight. Personally responds to every e-mail she receives--300-plus messages daily.

Conquering the glass ceiling: She never hesitated to be ''one of the guys,'' whether it meant playing poker on the weekend or grabbing a couple drinks after work. ''You build up trust that way,'' she says.

Biggest disappointment: Being pushed out of IBM's inner circle in 1995, two years after Louis Gerstner took the helm. After 29 years at Big Blue, a devastated Hancock walked out the door and put together the first resume of her career.

Family: Husband of 29 years, Jason, also a longtime IBM veteran, lives at the couple's home in Ridgefield, Conn. Ellen, who rents a condo in Los Gatos, Calif., flies back a couple of times a month. No children.



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EBIZ Contents for issue dated Nov. 20, 2000


RELATED ITEMS
Making Her Own Luck

RESUME: Ellen Marie Hancock

TABLE: Hancock's Challenge

TABLE: Hancock on Hancock



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