2006 rank: 3
Since taking over the state-owned French railway last summer, Idrac has had a smooth ride. SNCF opened its latest high-speed TGV, to Strasbourg, and lost relatively few days to strikes. Now she's moving to overhaul inefficient freight operations. Idrac, 55, is also on the front lines as the government moves to abolish perks for railroad employees that allow retirement as early as 50.