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Andriy Kobolyev, 36

CEO, Naftogaz
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Yuriy Kirnichny—AFP/Getty Images

Kobolyev has his hands full—and not just because at just 36, he runs a company that employs 175,000 and accounts for one-eighth of his country’s GDP. He took the reins at Ukraine’s state-owned oil and gas company in March, a week after his predecessor was arrested on corruption charges and in the midst of his country’s bitter conflict with Russia, which also is Ukraine’s main gas supplier. Add to those combustible politics: fears over Europe’s energy security (which relies on Naftogaz pipes); Ukraine’s $5.3 billion in unpaid gas bills (Russia’s Gazprom cut the country’s supply in June); and a population so accustomed to cheap heat that they keep their windows open year round. Energy conservation and transparency initiatives underway, Kobolyev now just needs to shore up a gas supply for his 45 million countrymen—he’s already got some flowing in from Slovakia— before winter comes. Good thing he thinks negotiations are “fun.”

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