40 under 40

Our 2013 edition of the list features young hotshots who are rocking businesses as diverse as air travel, natural gas, and genetic coding, as well as—if you can believe it— government.

40. Kat Cole

40u40 kat cole cinnabon
  • Age: 35
  • Title: President
  • Company: Cinnabon

Three years into her stint at the helm, Cole is transforming private equity-owned Cinnabon into a multichannel consumer brand. Taco Bell and Burger King sell its licensed products, its cinnamon is now in some 60 items on grocery-store shelves (think Pillsbury cinnamon rolls), and sales of all Cinnabon-related products are approaching $1 billion. An engineering major who worked at Hooters to pay for college at the University of North Florida, Cole wanted to become an attorney for DuPont—but after Hooters sent her around the world to help open new markets, she dropped out and worked her way up to a vice president at the chain.

  @FortuneMagazine - Last updated September 30 2013 03:41 PM ET
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40 Under 40 Video
 

At 880 delectable calories, the classic Cinnabon roll isn't most people's idea of an every day treat. President Kat Cole tells how the company has managed to expand its brand into smaller indulgences.

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