Occupation: Chairman and CEO, Abbott Laboratories
After spinning off its pharma research business in January 2013, Abbott shrank in size but not in clout. Its connected CEO still sits on a bazillion boards, and the company—which has paid shareholders a dividend for 42 years straight—paid White a hefty $17.2 million in 2012. True, the health-care giant had a challenging year: Its stock significantly underperformed the market average, for example. But remember, he’s running the place with his long-term reputation in mind. Abbott “will be his legacy when he eventually steps down,” says Debbie Wang, a senior equities analyst at Morningstar.