JULIA STEWART Pancake Peddler She began her career in the food-service business while in high school 30 years ago, working as a waitress for the International House of Pancakes in San Diego. Soon, though, Stewart, 46, will take orders only from the company's board. In early December she was named president and COO of the IHOP chain, based in Glendale, Calif., and is slated to become CEO by the middle of 2002. Most recently, she was president of the U.S. division of Applebee's.
LEONARD ASPER Media Baron Two years ago, lzzy Asper, founder of the Canadian media company CanWest, passed his CEO title to his son Leonard, then 35. Now, through an acquisition binge, Leonard has increased the number of TV and radio stations CanWest owns and expanded into newspapers, making it Canada's largest media conglomerate and doubling revenues. CanWest has been acquiring media interests as far afield as Australia and Northern Ireland.
PARK CHONG SUP Chipmaker The CEO of South Korean chipmaker Hynix is facing more than $8 billion in debt at his company, but Sup, 53, is working on a deal that offers hope. Earlier this month he met with the CEO of rival Micron Technology, based in Boise, Idaho, to pursue a variety of strategic partnerships. The day after the talks were announced, Hynix stock rose 15%.
LAURA MARTIN Entertainment Expert Her high profile was heightened further after Sept. 11 when Martin, an analyst for Credit Suisse First Boston, downgraded all cable and entertainment companies in her portfolio. Three weeks later the Pasadena, Calif., office out of which Martin, 43, worked was shuttered, and she was laid off. But as of Jan. 1, she will join Vivendi Universal as vice president for investor relations.
HELMUT PANKE Car Guy The ultimate driving machine soon will have a new master. Panke, 55, was named CEO of BMW after Joachim Milberg announced he would retire in May 2002. Panke, now the CFO, has been with BMW for 19 years; in the 1990s, he was head of U.S. operations. He plans to retain BMW's strategy of staying small--and profitable--unlike larger, ailing competitors such as Ford.