photo: chicago magazine
The Tribune just published its own version of the Power List—a group of local CEOs who made $10 million or more in 2012. Seven of the Trib’s 18 picks also appeared in this magazine’s pages in the March 2013 issue, on our list of the 100 most powerful people in the city.
Here’s a look at where their story and the Chicago March 2013 cover overlap. One caveat—corporate news moves quickly, and the info beneath each person is now 3 months old. Let us know if we’ve missed a recent update on these big names!
She’s steering Kraft spinoff Mondelez (which owns such giant food brands as Nabisco and Cadbury and is valued at some $49 billion) to strong growth in overseas markets. And Fortune calls her one of the five most powerful women in American business. So why doesn’t Rosenfeld rank even higher on this list? Unlike fellow Fortune 500 CEO Miles White (No. 4), the competitive former college athlete hasn’t forged many strong connections with Chicago’s power brokers.
If true power in Chicago lies largely in the strength of your connections to other powerful people, this aff able corporate chieftain is tough to beat. Seriously. What key boards is White not on? (See It’s Cozy at the Top.") What’s more, Wall Street cheered the January spinoff of Abbott’s pharma research business, giving the newly focused Abbott Labs—run by White—a market cap of $52 billion at presstime. That’s higher than that of any Chicago-area public company except McDonald’s.
The head of the Northbrook-based insurance giant delivered a 45 percent rise in stock price last year, silencing his critics and nabbing him a debut on this list.
Talk about a tough act to follow. Former McDonald’s honcho Jim Skinner was one of the best CEOs on the planet. The enigmatic Thompson, who got the top job when Skinner retired last summer, is now grappling with slumping U.S. sales. But he has deep experience in high-growth overseas markets, the company is rolling out new offerings (voulez-vous un McBaguette?), and, at presstime, the stock price was inching higher. There’s also the fact that he helms Chicago’s largest company, with the power to feed 68 million people worldwide each day.
Bruised from last year’s Express Scripts fiasco—analysts estimate that Walgreen’s contract dispute with the giant employee-benefits firm resulted in $4 billion of lost revenue—this former pharmacist needs a big win. Good thing he’s not shy about making big bets. Wasson’s recent deal to buy 45 percent of Alliance Boots, a European pharmacy chain, gives the nation’s largest drug retailer a footprint overseas for the first time, plus a big boost in the high-margin (but uber-competitive) cosmetics market.
This golf lover is one of the area’s best-paid corporate honchos (2012 total comp: $17.7 million) and no wonder: “Rick” is steering the bank with the deepest roots in Chicago to continued expansion overseas.
He wields his power, literally: Exelon is one of the largest energy providers in the United States. But the relatively little-known nuclear plant operations expert, who took the reins from John Rowe (No. 96) last March, has so far failed to boost flagging earnings.