World Beaters

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--MARIA ASUNCION ARAMBURUZABALA
Queen of Corona
When Aramburuzabala inherited her father's Grupo Modelo beer empire in 1995, she was raising two children and had little business experience. But she took over two bankrupt subsidiaries and made them profitable within a year. And she helped sell a big stake in Grupo Modelo to Anheuser-Busch. Now the brewer of Corona is in proven hands: Aramburuzabala, 39, is vice chairman, and the company's profits rose 20% during the first half of this year.

--THOMAS KANG
Seoul Man
Four years ago, merger specialist Kang was ready for a change. So when a representative of George Soros' investment firm asked the Korean-born New Yorker to run Seoul Securities, a foundering brokerage house that Soros had bought, Kang, now 40, jumped. And he has delivered: he transformed Seoul Securities from a mom-and-pop retail shop to a full-service firm with investment-banking and money-management arms. The company has turned a profit in every quarter since his arrival.

--MARTHA LANE FOX
Website Survivor
Co-founder of lastminute.com, a travel website popular in Europe, Lane Fox, 29, saw her firm's stock tumble from $36 a share in 2000 to about $1 a share after 9/11. But lastminute.com recently acquired three other travel sites, and analysts expect the company to turn a profit within a year. From January through mid-August, its stock was up 222%, at $7.29, making the company one of the two best performing ADRs this year.

--BILL NUTI
Symbolic Move
After 10 years as a globe-trotting sales exec at Cisco Systems, Nuti had been touted by analysts as a potential successor to Cisco CEO John Chambers. But Nuti, 38, recently left the networking giant to become president of Symbol Technologies, the world's largest maker of bar-code scanners, based on Long Island, New York. Nuti likes Symbol's growth potential and will no longer have to commute from his Long Island home to Silicon Valley.