Company: EnronLosing out to Jeff Skilling, her archrival for the CEO job at Enron, turned out to be Rebecca Mark's lucky break. Mark, chief of Enron International - which built power plants and pipelines across the developing world - left in 1998.
She went on to launch an Enron-backed venture, Azurix, to privatize water utilities. Skilling and Enron chairman Ken Lay shuttered Azurix within two years, but Mark made out fine, cashing some $80 million of Enron stock before the company's collapse. Neither she nor anyone who worked for her was charged with crimes. She declines to talk about her former bosses or her time at Enron, but says, "I'm extremely sad that the end result had to be so difficult for so many people because of the actions of a few people."
Now living near the slopes of Telluride, Colo., Mark, who has 21-year-old twin boys and a 7-year-old son, says, "It's a much nicer life." She's still in the water business as a board member of WaterHealth International, a venture-backed startup. "It has the most effective way of providing clean water that I've ever seen," says Mark. Having visited India 50 times for Enron, she has a new agenda there. "We're providing clean water to 70 communities in India," she says.