Takafumi Horie THE UPSTART
Horie, 32, founder of Livedoor, one of Japan's most successful Internet firms, last year shocked the country's calcified baseball establishment by offering to buy the ailing Osaka-based Kintetsu Buffaloes. The owners rebuffed him as a punk. Now Horie has set the business community buzzing with a hostile-takeover battle against Fuji Television Network for radio network Nippon Broadcasting. Japan's aversion to such battles, Horie retorts, is out of touch with modern capitalism. --By Jim Frederick
Klaus Kleinfeld THE INNOVATOR
As the new CEO of Siemens AG, Kleinfeld, 47, has wasted no time: two months on the job and already two acquisitions valued at more than $2.5 billion, bulking up the company's medical and automation businesses. A 19-year Siemens veteran, including three years running its U.S. operations, Kleinfeld is known for his cross-cultural savvy--a true next-generation European CEO. The rumor mill is spinning that his next deal could be with a cell-phone handsetmaker to fill the one gap in Siemens' communications portfolio. By Coco Masters
Michelle Peluso ONWARD AND UPWARD
Since Peluso, 33, became CEO of online travel firm Travelocity in December 2003, her most visible achievement may be its irreverent ad campaign featuring the Roaming Gnomean abducted lawn fixture from North Carolina with a conical red hat. In the real world, despite competition from Expedia and Orbitz , the Sabre subsidiary has also proved unforgettable, posting $4.9 billion in travel bookings for 2004 and $500 million in revenue. Next on her itinerary: Travelocity Europe and two joint ventures, Singapore's Zuji and Japan's Tabini C.M.