For someone in the private sector, Braverman has done more than most to shape the public one. During his 15-year tenure at McKinsey he co-founded and directed the firm's practice on government innovation, consulted with the Obama-Biden transition team, advised several presidential campaigns, and assisted the prime minister of Haiti in the aftermath of the country's 2010 earthquakes. Uber-connected in the highest echelons of politics--Chelsea Clinton is a friend--Braverman made the jump to the Clinton Foundation in July, 2013. Following a report criticizing the charity, Bill Clinton pointed specifically to Braverman's appointment as a sign that things were improving. "We have strengthened our foundation's leadership and structure," the former President told the paper.
Wadle has been steadily climbing through the ranks at the preppy fashion powerhouse since she arrived in 2004. In her new role as president of the J.Crew Brand, she replaces Tracy Gardner, who left in 2010. The job includes oversight of both the retail and direct businesses of J.Crew, Crewcuts and the J.Crew factory outlet -- a division Wadle ran in the mid-2000s, tripling sales. J.Crew CEO Mickey Drexler called the promotion a "recognition of the team," and "not at all any succession plan," but industry observers saw it as Wadle moving one step closer to the CEO spot.
Macfarlane can add another line this year to his already stacked resume: Oscar host. The 39-year-old regaled the Academy in February with a performance that was both highly rated (about 1 million more people tuned in this year than last year) and hotly debated. Some viewers were left particularly cold by a musical number about Hollywood nude scenes succinctly titled, "We Saw Your Boobs." But raunchy emcee is just one role of many for Macfarlane. He directed, produced and starred in the blockbuster "Ted" in 2012 (another film is in post-production), he has four TV series including the mega-hit Family Guy, and he has released an album of jazz standards. According to Variety, his production company Fuzzy Door just closed on an $11 million Beverly Hills office building, further cementing his "ascent into moguldom."
Gillett was just 31 years old when he landed the CIO role at Starbucks. Howard Schultz had recently made his soon-to-be-triumphant return to the coffee giant, and as the company's youngest C-level executive, Gillett would play a big role in making it more tech-savvy. You can thank him for phone-enabled payment at the chain. Gillett, who is also a World of Warcraft ace as well as a former college football player, left Starbucks in 2012 for Best Buy. He stayed at the struggling tech giant for only nine months before decamping for Symantec -- and significantly broader responsibilities.
Before being summarily booted from the company he founded for an overwhelming personality and an underwhelming earnings record, Mason changed the online retail landscape with his startup Groupon. The daily deals company sold more than 150 million digital coupons for steep discounts at business offering everything from Lasik eye surgery, to Gap jeans, to Indian food. At its 2011 IPO, the second-largest in history for an internet company, Groupon had a $12.7 billion valuation and legions of imitators. But after going public the business foundered and Mason, known for stunts such as doing yoga in tighty-whities, was fired in February. Six months later, the Northwestern music school graduate released an album of "motivational business music," called "Hardly Workin'." Intended to spread business wisdom to a younger generation, it includes songs called "My Door is Always Open" and "Risin' Above the Pack."
Musk may be the world's busiest man. He is co-founder and CEO of electric car maker Tesla, founder and CEO of rocket company SpaceX, and the chairman of solar power provider SolarCity. And still, he's tacking on projects. This year, Musk unveiled a much-hyped proposal for urban transit that he called the Hyperloop, which he said would be able to transport passengers from Los Angeles to San Francisco in just 30 minutes, at 350 miles per hour. He also showed off a prototype for a computer program that you can control by simply moving your hands (a la the "Iron Man" movies) . Far-fetched? Sure. But so was the idea that an electric car company could be profitable, and Musk's Tesla managed that this year. Still too soon to say about his plans to get that car to drive itself, though.
As executive vice president and head of the markets group at the New York Fed, Brian Sack played a big role in the institution's response to the financial crisis. Because the New York branch conducts the Fed's market operations, buying and selling Treasury securities, Sack was pivotal in orchestrating the Federal Reserve's quantitative easing programs. And his portfolio was gigantic, at $2.1 trillion. In January, the 43-year-old resigned for a new job at hedge fund D.E. Shaw & Co., where he will serve as senior vice president and co-director of global economics.