Business: NBC's First Lady

Programmed for the top

She is a dynamo of an executive who made such a mark in a 20-year career at International Business Machines Corp. that Jimmy Carter considered appointing her his Commerce Secretary before she took herself out of the running. Last week Jane Cahill Pfeiffer, 45, found something more to her liking. NBC President and Chief Executive Fred Silverman named her the network's chairman, succeeding Old Pro Julian Goodman, 56, who moves to chairman of the executive committee.

Pfeiffer thus becomes one of the highest-ranking women in U.S. business. Still, while she will have a seat on the board of RCA,...

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