Before Baihaki Hakim showed up, the Indonesian State Oil & Gas Co., or Pertamina, was a plaything of the Suharto family. Not anymore. Since the former U.S. oil exec took over in February, 2000, he has rooted out inefficiency and corruption. He cut costs by $1 billion by changing bidding procedures for imported fuel, changing purchasing procedures for equipment, and by sacking a dozen managers suspected of rigging suppliers' bids. He has begun laying off nearly a third of the company's 24,000 employees.
Next up: staving off a parliamentary attempt to strip Pertamina of its ownership of fossil-fuel resources, and privatizing the company within five years. "In the old days, you had to follow whatever the Suharto family wished," the 59-year-old Javanese says, with the confident Texas twang he acquired as CEO of PT Caltex Indonesia, a Chevron-Texaco joint venture. "Now, we're playing catch-up."