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  • Company
    Colgate-Palmolive
  • Title
    Chairman, President, and CEO

More than 70% of Colgate’s sales come from outside North America, so volatile currencies, like what we have seen in Venezuela, can wreak havoc on the company’s margins. Despite those swings, Colgate has had a pretty calm year. For Cook, an admitted introvert, this relative lack of drama allowed him to let his company’s oral and dental care products—staples around the world—do the talking. In the meantime, Cook has continued the $1.1 billion restructuring plan he announced in 2012 to reduce costs—including laying off 2,300 employees over four years—and rely more on analytics to guide future business moves. The effort is expected to save Colgate between $365 million and $435 million annually by 2016. —R.D.

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