WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Senate has confirmed billionaire business executive Penny Pritzker to be secretary of Commerce, filling a vacancy that has stood since John Bryson resigned last summer.

The sweeping 97-1 vote installs Pritzker, a longtime friend of President Barack Obama who raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for his presidential campaigns, at Commerce in time to assist in trade talks with the European Union and Pacific Rim nations.

Pritzker becomes the fourth woman serving as secretary in Obama's current Cabinet. She is the wealthiest in the Cabinet by far, with Forbes estimating her net worth at $1.85 billion and ranking her as the 277th-richest American. The commerce post has been vacant since Bryson resigned after suffering a seizure that led to a series of traffic collisions.

link

Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.