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  • Company
    Southwest Airlines
  • Title
    Chairman, President, and CEO

Southwest changed the way Americans travel when it was founded more than four dec­ades ago. Through a combination of hyper-efficiency and a famously relaxed attitude (hot pants, anyone?), it proved that people would choose to fly relatively short distances if the price was right. Now the country’s largest domestic carrier (by passengers) is undergoing a transformation of its own. Under CEO Gary Kelly, Southwest has added dozens of new routes, including its first international ones—and by year’s end, its $1.4 billion coupling with AirTran should be complete. The airline’s stock has soared by more than 100% over the past 12 months, compared with just 15% for the S&P. —Anne VanderMey