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17. Discover Financial Services
17. Discover Financial Services
2010 Fortune 500 rank: 286
2009 profit growth: 37.6%
2009 revenue growth: 12.7%

CEO since 2004: David Nelms

Like other card company CEOs, David Nelms has been hard hit with legislation that imposed heavy restrictions on fees and rate increases.

His consolation prize: Discover is owed $2.75 billion after settling a lawsuit against Visa and Mastercard.

Between the 2008 Diners Club acquisition and cuts in marketing and employment, Discover's earnings rose 38%, to $1.3 billion, on revenues of $8 billion, a 13% uptick.

NEXT: 18. Gilead Sciences

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Last updated April 28 2010: 12:37 PM ET
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