38. Kirk Hachigian
bpoy kirk hachigian

Chairman and CEO, Cooper Industries

When Cooper Industries was founded in 1833, it sold stoves and hog troughs. These days, it's an electrical equipment manufacturer very much on the cutting edge. Hachigian, who stepped up as CEO in 2005, deserves at least some of the credit: he's turned Cooper's focus to future growth opportunities, like LED lighting and smart grid technology. This year, Cooper (CBE) acquired four companies, including Fifth Light, a "daylight harvesting" operation that brings optimum efficiency to lighting systems -- strategic moves that, in turn, made Cooper an attractive acquisition target. Earlier this year Eaton Corporation, the power management provider, agreed to buy Cooper Industries for about $11.8 billion. --EF

- Last updated November 30 2012 05:12 PM ET
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