Title: Chairman, President and CEO
Company: Reynolds American
Company rank: 290
Compensation: $9.5 million
Susan Ivey became the first lady of tobacco in 2004. It's a job that comes with its share of hardships--lawsuits, backlash from the government and the public and tough competition from other cigarette companies.
But Ivey, who's been in the industry for more than 25 years, has proved she knows how to grow a company under unfavorable conditions: A bet on a smokeless tobacco firm and innovations helped revenue grow 6% to $9 billion last year, and shareholders have seen an 80% dividend increase since Reynolds American started trading in 2004. NEXT: Paula Rosput Reynolds