Alex Gorsky
Alex Gorsky
Company: Johnson & Johnson
Fortune 500 Rank: 42

In late April, 51-year-old West Point graduate Alex Gorsky took the reins of the troubled Johnson & Johnson from Bill Weldon. Gorsky spent six years in the Army, where he served in Europe, the U.S., and Panama. He worked his way up to captain, an elite group of soldiers in the Army Rangers.

He got used to being a leader of men, he said, during the 2011 MBA Veterans Conference. He started working as an ad sales representative with Janssen Pharmaceuticals in 1998, two years after graduating from Wharton's Business School. One of his biggest challenges, Gorsky said, was adjusting to being at the bottom of the rung. "I was a field artillery captain in the army, I had 125 soldiers," he said. "Right away, you think, 'I'm going to jump out there and apply my captain skills.' I had to get used to rejection."

By Shelley DuBois, writer-reporter - Last updated May 07 2012: 9:53 AM ET