44. Fu Chengyu
bpoy fu chengyu

Chairman, China Petroleum

Though appointed chairman of Asia's largest oil refinery just last year (No. 5 on the Fortune Global 500), Fu has already managed to create some buzz in the position: he was voted "Petroleum Executive of the Year" by industry peers in March, and in June, set off speculation when he appeared at the NBA Finals, courtside, with Chesapeake Energy (CHK, Fortune 500) CEO Aubrey McClendon.

But it wasn't that surprising: Fu, who came to China Petrochemical (Sinopec) from CNOOC, another big state-controlled oil company, pioneered the strategy for Chinese energy companies trying to operate abroad, and particularly in the U.S. (After an ambitious but ultimately failed takeover of Unocal in 2005, Fu went after minority stakes in American companies like Chesapeake.)

He's now taken the playbook and ambitions to Sinopec, where overseas oil production grew 27% through September. This year, the firm added stakes in Nigeria, the North Sea, and the American Midwest. It also made its first foray into shale gas in western China and announced plans to take its refineries and carbon-capture technologies abroad. --EF


- Last updated November 30 2012 05:12 PM ET
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