GHOSN'S GO-TO GUY
In 1994 Thormann, then head of Renault's investor-relations department, coaxed the French automaker's top finance officer, Carlos Ghosn, into making a presentation to analysts at a big Frankfurt auto show. "It went very well," recalls Thormann, 52. Indeed. The American exec moved back to the U.S. in July to become senior vice president of administration and finance for Nissan North America, which is run by a committee of five. But if Ghosn has a question about Nissan's U.S. ops, which posted $40 billion in sales last year, he calls Thormann first. Wonder why. Hilary Schneider
SHOPPING FOR LOCALS
She has plenty of expertise, but the Yahoo! exec says being a mother of three is living market research. "I hear things like, 'Mom, we need to buy a lacrosse stick,'" Schneider, 45, says. "So I look online." That's an impulse she hopes to infuse in all households as head of Yahoo!'s new Marketplaces classifieds unit. Previously at Knight Ridder, Schneider says improved search capability and personalization should push consumers and advertisers to the Web. --By Kathleen Kingsbury
CHANGING THE AD GAME IN INDIA
In a decade in which India is synonymous with data-crunching homogeneity, Pandey has been an unwavering champion of the nation's creative potential. In the 1980s he went across India recording consumer tastes. More than 20 years later, as head of Ogilvy & Mather's India and South Asia offices, he can rest easy; his campaigns for such iconic brands as Fevicol and Cadbury are credited with changing India's advertising. "The work we've done has kind of been the leading light for the rest of the industry," says Pandey, 51. O&M agrees. Last month the firm appointed him to the company's worldwide board of directors.