Making Her Own Luck

Three years ago, Ellen Hancock's confidence was shot. Now she's building a Web-hosting empire

It was nearly three years ago, on a warm December morning, that Ellen M. Hancock hit rock-bottom. Fired five months earlier as Apple Computer Inc.'s (AAPL) chief technology officer by boss Steven P. Jobs, Hancock was still out of work. She had bucked long odds to become one of high tech's brightest female stars, but she was spending her days reflecting on three years of bitter disappointment: being run out of IBM (IBM) in 1995 by CEO Louis V. Gerstner Jr. after 29 years, getting passed up a year later for the vacant CEO job at chipmaker National Semiconductor Corp. (NSM), and being pushed out by the cocky Jobs, who had dismissed her as a "bozo."

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