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    General Dynamics

Unlike her short-tenured predecessor, Jay Johnson, who made a series of acquisitions outside the defense giant’s core areas and exited after a traumatic loss, Novakovic has restored profits by, as she says, “doing what we know how to do.” Since the former CIA operative took command in 2013, Novakovic has been busy in its more traditional missions: building major military hardware and business jets, like the M1 Abrams tank, nuclear submarines, as well as Gulfstream jets. Last year, the company landed a contract to deliver $10 billion worth of armored vehicles to Saudi Arabia and received a $17.6 billion order to build Virginia-class attack submarines for the U.S. Navy in partnership with Huntington Ingalls Industries. In going back to basics, Novakovic has led the company to four consecutive quarters with more than $1 billion in operating earnings. Still revenues have been flat and analysts say Novakovic’s next mission is to find new avenues of growth and revenue to keep the stock from submerging.