` <ul><li>ANGELA BRALY </li></ul><ul><li>Title: President and CEO </li></ul><ul><li>Company: WellPoint </li></ul><ul><li>Company rank: 33 </li></ul><ul><li>Age: 46 </li></ul><ul><li>Compensation: $9.1 million </li></ul><ul><li>To outsiders, Angela Braly was a relative unknown when she took over WellPoint, the country's largest health insurer, last June. Internally, though, she is credited with orchestrating the $6.5 billion acquisition of WellChoice, also known as Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield, in 2005. The Texan's first year as CEO of the $60 billion behemoth put her directly in the public eye and has been far from easy: Within two weeks after taking the helm, Michael Moore's Sicko was released, criticizing America's health care system and singling out the company's practice of denying coverage to patients. Braly also found herself searching for a new CFO after he was ousted for violating the company's personal code of conduct amid allegations of philandering. While no one can agree on the best way to fix an ailing healthcare system, there's no disputing that Braly - the only woman CEO of a Fortune 50 company - has one of the toughest jobs in business. </li></ul>
PATRICIA WOERTZ Title: Chairman, President and CEO Company: Archer Daniels Midland Company rank: 52 Age: 55 Compensation: $7.6 million Patricia Woertz doesn't let convention drive her career choices. For much of her professional life, she's worked in male-dominated fields, including 30 years devoted to the oil industry. And in her latest stint as CEO of Archer Daniels Midland, the former Chevron executive vice president is proving she can take on just about any challenge--even agriculture, an industry she never worked in before she became CEO in May 2006. As Woertz learns about harvesting soy, wheat and corn crops, she's also busy making deals that will allow the company to commercially produce corn-based, biodegradable plastic.
INDRA NOOYI Title: Chairman and CEO Company: PepsiCo Company rank: 59 Age: 52 Compensation: $11.8 million PepsiCo is on a binge--a $1.3 billion feast of acquisitions. But it's not for fat or sugar-laden products. Instead, Indra Nooyi (who's been CEO since 2006) has been culling from a menu of natural and organic snacks and drinks. The beverage giant has already bought Naked Juice, which promises antioxidant-heavy, no-sugar-added smoothies, and Stacy's Pita chips. Nooyi's motivation has been to make moves that fatten up the bottom line without adding to the expansion of customers' waistlines. The strategy seems to be working: In 2007, Nooyi's first full year as CEO, revenue increased 12% to $39.5 billion.
IRENE ROSENFELD Title: Chairman and CEO Company: Kraft Foods Company rank: 63 Age: 54 Compensation: $11.3 million The good news: Irene Rosenfeld, who became CEO in June 2006, finally gets to call the shots at Kraft after it spun off from Altria (which owns Philip Morris) last year. The bad news? That independence means she has to deliver digestible numbers at a time when dairy prices pressure sales of some key products, such as Kraft Singles and Philadelphia Cream Cheese. Even kid favorites--Oreos cookies and Oscar Mayer cold cuts--are seeing more shelf-time than lunchboxes. But Rosenfeld is hoping to regain both lunch time and Wall Street popularity with a three-year growth plan, which calls for job cuts, innovating current products, and even unloading some product lines. Corporate buyers have already lightened Kraft's load: Sunny Delight Beverages Co. acquired Veryfine juices and Ralcorp Holdings snapped up Post Cereals.
CAROL MEYROWITZ Title: President and CEO Company: TJX Company rank: 132 Age: 54 Compensation: $7.6 million Carol Meyrowitz took over TJX, the largest off-price retailer (home to T.J.Maxx and Marshall's), just as a major security breach unraveled early last year. That violation, which compromised the information of millions of customers, led to an investigation and millions of dollars of settlement fees paid by TJX to Visa and MasterCard. But not everything has been burdensome for the 25-year retail vet: Meyrowitz recently reported the company's financial results, including a 4.6% net income increase and a 22% dividend hike for shareholders.
MARY SAMMONS Title: Chairman, President and CEO Company: Rite Aid Company rank: 142 Age: 61 Compensation: $4.3 million Mary Sammons can be credited with helping revive Rite Aid: The drugstore operator was in the corporate ER facing bankruptcy because of an accounting scandal when she joined the troubled company as president in 1999. Rite Aid, now a $17.5 billion powerhouse, has fully recovered and is making more positive headlines, this time for becoming the third-largest national drugstore outfit after it bought the Brooks and Eckerd pharmacy chains in 2007. Sammons is still hard at work and is focusing on bringing in new products to its more than 5,000 stores.
ANNE MULCAHY Title: Chairman and CEO Company: Xerox Company rank: 144 Age: 54 Compensation: $13.5 million When Anne Mulcahy took over Xerox in 2001, the problems were not as simple as replacing a toner cartridge. Error signals were flashing: The company was under investigation by the SEC for overstating its financial results and was facing $15 billion of mounting debt. After successfully completing the daunting task of engineering Xerox out of its predicaments, Mulcahy emerged with one of the best comeback stories of corporate America. Today, sales have steadily increased to $17.2 billion, an 8% increase over last year, and the company has a brighter future thanks to bets it placed on color printing and document management.
BRENDA BARNES Title: Chairman and CEO Company: Sara Lee Company rank: 203 Age: 54 Compensation: $8.7 million When Brenda Barnes was hired to lead Sara Lee in 2005, she noticed there were too many cooks in the kitchen. Headcount, especially at the management level, needed to come down. The 22-year PepsiCo vet has steered Sara Lee into leaner territory by cutting and consolidating (Sara Lee's portfolio once included undergarment-maker, Hanes, among its namesake cakes and pies). Having trimmed the fat, Barnes is now dealing with skyrocketing wheat and corn prices. She hopes aggressive marketing, price increases and new food aisle arrivals like bite-size cheesecakes will help the $13 billion food conglomerate rebound from the 29% revenue drop it saw in 2007.
ANDREA JUNG • Title: Chairman and CEO Company: Avon Products Company rank: 265 Age: 49 Compensation: $13.7 million Corporations, like people, are sensitive to signs of aging. In 2005, Avon underwent a renewal treatment to update its product mix, and reduce costs in an effort to increase sales and profits. Andrea Jung, who's been CEO since 1999, boosted spending on advertising and innovation while she reduced overall staff. The bets have paid off. Last year, Avon's revenue--nearly $10 billion--and profits of $530 million grew at double-digit rates. Now 121 years old, Avon has regained appeal among young and old with quality lotions and hipper makeup, and has set its global expansion sights on attracting Chinese customers. The Chinese government, in recent years, loosened restrictions on direct sales and, in late February 2006, Avon was granted a direct-selling license by China's Ministry of Commerce.
SUSAN IVEY Title: Chairman, President and CEO Company: Reynolds American Company rank: 290 Age: 46 Compensation: $9.5 million Susan Ivey became the first lady of tobacco in 2004. It's a job that comes with its share of hardships--lawsuits, backlash from the government and the public and tough competition from other cigarette companies. But Ivey, who's been in the industry for more than 25 years, has proved she knows how to grow a company under unfavorable conditions: A bet on a smokeless tobacco firm and innovations helped revenue grow 6% to $9 billion last year, and shareholders have seen an 80% dividend increase since Reynolds American started trading in 2004.
PAULA ROSPUT REYNOLDS Title: President and CEO (becomes Chairman May 7) Company: Safeco Company rank: 388 Age: 51 Compensation: $6 million There are no speed limits for Paula Rosput Reynolds, the CEO of Safeco. She's been making big moves since she arrived at the $6 billion property and casualty insurance company in 2006. But that doesn't mean she's reckless. Reynolds has already made headway on the technology and innovation front. Last June the company made headlines with Teensurance, a high-tech program that comes with the benefits of GPS tracking and text message alerts for caregivers of young speeding drivers. Reynolds also sold off Safeco's headquarters in 2007 and is now leasing office space to reduce debt.
CHRISTINA GOLD Title: President, CEO and Director Company: Western Union Company rank: 473 Age: 60 Compensation: $9.4 million Language barriers may prevent Christina Gold from speaking to Western Union tellers in every country around the globe. But as the company's imprint expands to 200 countries and yearly transactions pass the 200 million mark, Western Union's success needs no translation: Remittances are booming to a worldwide tune of nearly $320 billion last year. In early April, the company announced mobile money transfers that would allow U.S .customers to send money abroad by using their cell phones.