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27. Barbara Desoer
Barbara Desoer
President, Mortgage, Home Equity, and Insurance Services
Bank of America (BAC)
Previous rank: Return
Age: 55

The low-profile Desoer has built a reputation as the big fixer, integrating acquisitions such as MBNA and LaSalle. In May, CEO Ken Lewis tasked her with heading this new unit, which, with the $2.5 billion acquisition of Countrywide, controls 25% of the home mortgage market. A Bank of America lifer, she has a shot at succeeding Lewis as CEO if she navigates this messy market well.

NEXT: Abigail Johnson
Last updated October 16 2008: 10:16 AM ET
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