Don Thompson


Don Thompson

Age: 50

Occupation: CEO, McDonald’s

Last year, the CEO of one of America’s most powerful companies was still in his honeymoon phase. Now he’s being pelted with questions about everything from why the company’s stock price is in the doldrums (it has barely budged over the past 12 months) to why he makes so damn much money (total compensation of $13.8 million in 2012, compared with a wage of $8.90 an hour for the average American fast-food worker). Then, in December, the press had a field day with a memo posted on an internal employee resource site that counseled workers to avoid fast food since it “may put people at risk for becoming overweight.” If Thompson can boost the numbers and change the conversation, he’ll rise on this list.

Photo: Chuck Berman/Chicago Tribune