Three years ago, a stellar performance in Canada earned Avon Products' CHRISTINA A. GOLD the company's toughest job: president of North America. She has done what several predecessors couldn't. By cutting costs, adding products, and reenergizing the sales force, she has revived the once-stagnant unit. Record U.S. sales and profits give Gold, 49, a shot at someday becoming Avon's first female CEO.

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