James McNerney Jr.
Occupation: Chairman and CEO, Boeing
This three-sport athlete (hockey, football, and baseball) at Winnetka’s New Trier High School showed a desire to lead from an early age and spent 19 years at GE learning business the Jack Welch way. He joined the Boeing board in 2001—the same year that the world’s largest aerospace company moved its headquarters to Chicago—and since becoming CEO in 2005, he has been credited with ramping up both production and profits. Despite technical snafus that caused some new Dreamliners to be grounded last year and ugly sparring between management and the unions, Boeing’s stock price still soared 67 percent over the year ending January 31, driven by record growth in the commercial airplane market.