Sallie Krawcheck: CEO of Citigroup's new Smith Barney unit

Not just anyone can publicly criticize a top CEO, then get hired to run one of his key divisions

As a track star in high school, Sallie Krawcheck ranked among her state's best at the high jump. But she hasn't jumped for anyone since, and her unshakable independence has propelled her career on Wall Street to heights unimaginable to a girl coming of age in Charleston, S.C., in the 1970s. Then, Krawcheck--always an outstanding student--thought mostly of cheerleading and "dating the coolest boy," she acknowledges. "She was in danger of becoming terminally cute," recalls her high school guidance counselor, Nancy Wise, who recognized Krawcheck's potential early and stoked her business ambitions. Today Krawcheck, 37, is one of the most powerful...

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