Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao
President and CEO, VietJet, 47
As the CEO of VietJet, a Vietnam-based low-cost carrier, Thao has had a big year. Perhaps best known for her controversial “bikini campaign” featuring flight attendants clad in skimpy swimwear, Thao is the only female billionaire in all of Southeast Asia, with an estimated fortune of $1.6 billion. She took her fast-growing airline public in February in a $167 million IPO, which valued the company at more than a billion dollars, the third-largest listing for a Vietnamese company. In the first half of 2017, VietJet generated roughly $84.7 million in group profit before tax, which is a 44.7% increase year over year.