MIT’s Sloan School of Management, gravitated toward healthcare because of his interest in service-oriented businesses. Today, he makes sure that he takes care of the needs of his customers-rich or poor-while ensuring that Aetna has a healthy bottom line. -Patrice D. Johnson
William Lamar Jr., Chief Marketing Officer, McDonald’s USA, Age: 52, Lamar is responsible for all U.S. marketing efforts of this $17 billion fast-food company, the largest in the world. McDonald’s has 13,000 restaurants in the United States alone. When Lamar served as general manager and regional vice president for McDonalds’ Atlanta Region, he was responsible for more than 700 restaurants in Georgia, Alabama, South Carolina, and portions of North Carolina and Tennessee. Over the past few years, Lamar has helped build up the flagging franchise. Just two years ago, consumers old and young were shunning staples such as Big Macs and Happy Meals. But due in large part to Lamar’s innovative marketing strategy and campaigns to target different market segments, systemwide sales were up 7% through November 2004. The company posted double-digit same- store sales increases for two consecutive year-over-year periods.
Pierre E. Leroy, President, Worldwide Construction & Forestry, Deere & Co., Age: 56, Originally from Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Leroy majored in political science as an undergrad at the University of Michigan. He began his career at the world’s leading manufacturer of agricultural and forestry equipment in 1976 as assistant manager of domestic finance. As president of the company’s Worldwide Construction and Forestry Division (since 1996) and Worldwide Parts Division (since 2003), Leroy had an operating profit of $152 million in 2003. Sales increased 24%. By the end of the third quarter in 2004, his divisions’ sales rose 40%. Operating profit improved to $155 million for the quarter and $393 million for nine months, compared to $59 million and $111 million the previous year. Within the two divisions, Leroy oversees 7,300 employees. Deere & Co. had 2003 revenues of $15.8 billion.
Dennis Maple, Exec. VP, Aramark Education, Facilities Services Aramark Corp., Age: 44, Maple manages an employee team of more than 7,500 and, on a national level, is responsible for the day-to-day operations of more that 400 clients in the higher education and K-12 market for one of the leading food caterers. His division represented approximately $375 million of Aramark’s $9.7 billion in revenues. Based in Philadelphia, Aramark’s other customers include sports arenas, hospitals, and business cafeterias. Maple built his career in sales, market development, and operations at several large companies, including Kraft-General Foods, Pepsi-Cola, and Coors Brewing Co., where he served as the area vice president in the Dallas region. Maple was also the zone development manager for the Jackson, Florida, region of the Quaker Oats Co. He earned his B.A. at the University of Tennessee.
Gary E. McCullough, President, Ross Products Division, Senior Vice President, Abbott Laboratories, Age: 46, As of December 2003, McCullough has been a top gun at Ross, overseeing a product portfolio exceeding $2 billion in sales for the nutritional needs company, which produces brands such as