29. Michael T. Duke
29. Michael T. Duke
President and CEO, Wal-Mart Stores

Thanks to rigorous cost-cutting, Duke managed to boost Wal-Mart's profits by 12.8% in the past year, despite continued declines in the retail Goliath's U.S. market share and same-store sales. International sales are growing faster (by 7% in constant currency terms in the second quarter of this year, versus negative 0.9% in the U.S.). Wal-Mart is expected to slash its prices to compete with dollar stores and other big-box retailers like Costco, which will squeeze margins.


By Richard McGill Murphy, contributor - Last updated November 17 2011: 5:58 PM ET