Harvey Golub And Kenneth I. Chenault

In '97, CEO HARVEY GOLUB and President KENNETH I. CHENAULT got American Express back on track. Golub, the strategist, and Chenault, the marketing whiz, carried out a fierce counterattack against Visa and MasterCard. After years of losing ground, AmEx began regaining U.S. market share. The duo also kicked off 17 new cards abroad. The result: While many rivals struggled, AmEx earnings rose 15% in the first three quarters of '97, to $1.5 billion, and its stock is up about 61%.

Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal.