Carol Meyrowitz

FRAMINGHAM, MA - APRIL 22: Globe 100 The Back Page - CEO of TJX, Carol Meyrowitz. (Photo by Suzanne Kreiter/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)Photograph by Suzanne Kreiter — Getty Images
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Carol Meyrowitz likes to operate TJX under the radar, but unparalleled success has made it harder for the $27.4 billion off-price powerhouse to escape the limelight. Since 2007, when she assumed the reins of the company behind big value retail chains like HomeGoods, Marshalls, and T.J. Maxx, profits have almost tripled and the stock has returned around 370%, vs. about 65% for the S&P. Meyrowitz, who came up through the ranks as a buyer, has raised the quality of the stores and the brands they carry while also more than doubling the size of her buying team. The next frontier is e-commerce, a major untapped market for the company, which currently makes up only 1% of its sales. She’s not slowing down brick-and-mortar expansion, though: The company thinks it has the potential to increase its store base by about 60%, to 5,150 locations. Despite the size, Meyrowitz is keeping the company nimble. “We are one of the most flexible retailers in the world with a global vendor base that numbers over 16,000, decades of experience in building international teams and infrastructure, and one of the widest customer demographic reaches in our sector,” she says. —Beth Kowitt