Born: Jan. 23, 1949, in Los Angeles
Education: Earned a Bachelor of Science degree in 1971 from Mount St. Mary's College, a Catholic school in Los Angeles.
U-Turns: Although trained as a scientist, her first job was in the recruiting office of Mount St. Mary's College. While in college doing research on mosquitoes, she decided that science didn't give her enough human contact.
Career highlights: Left her job as a recruiter in 1979 to become a sales rep at Maloney's, a family-owned office-supply chain in Los Angeles. Joined Office Depot (ODP) in 1993. Soon rose to run the sales, warehouse, and distribution operations in Southern California. In 1996, promoted to vice-president of contract marketing and sales administration. That's when she recognized the rising importance of the Internet and helped get Office Depot wired. In 2000, she was named senior vice-president of e-commerce.
How she challenges herself: She keeps two items on her bookshelf to keep her focused: One is the book E-Volve-or-Die.com, which prods her to keep an eye on the next trend; the other is a little toy shopping cart, a reminder that her core business is retail sales.
Leaves work at work: She clocks long days, usually from 7:15 a.m. to 8 p.m. But come the weekend, she leaves her briefcase at the office. She's a big believer in downtime to recharge her battery. Calling her while she's vacationing is a definite no-no.
Family: Divorced 10 years ago, with one son, Chris, 22.