World Beaters

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GORDON CAMERON
Biotech Baron
As an investment banker, Cameron, 37, managed a $50 million IPO for Acambis, a London vaccine producer. As its CFO, he helped Acambis win a $430 million contract from the U.S. to supply smallpox vaccine, a contract that transformed the company from a small R.-and-D. shop into a drugmaker with clout. So it's no wonder that the Acambis board took a chance on Cameron and named him CEO. The Scotsman, whose hobbies include golf, will try to tee up the first West Nile — virus vaccine in his first months on the job.

MARY WINSTON
Prime Publisher
After spending nearly 15 years in the drug and auto-parts industries, Winston, 42, just landed her first CFO job — in kids' books. She takes over the finances of Scholastic, the world's largest publisher and distributor of children's titles (2003 sales: nearly $2 billion; Harry Potter had something to do with that). "No question, this industry is totally different," Winston says. "But at the high levels of finance, the fundamentals are the same."

KRISH PRABHU
Telecom Titan
Like most Indian kids, Prabhu wanted to play pro cricket. He may have fallen short on the field, but he's hitting a six in the suites. Tellabs, the Naperville, Ill., telecom-gear maker (2003 sales: $980 million) that sells data systems and voice enhancers, recently named him CEO. The board is betting on a repeat. When Prabhu, 49, was boss of Alcatel USA, a division of the French telco, revenues increased fivefold, to about $5 billion, over his three-year tenure.

JEFF SAGE
Auto Engineer
Sage, the new COO of Tata Technologies, the automotive-software division of India's largest conglomerate, is no stranger to the world stage. During his two-decade career at IBM, he not only helped design a Mercedes plant in Alabama but also merged GM's information technology with its South Korean partner, Daewoo Motors. At Tata, Sage plans to cash in on outsourcing; a group of Tata engineers is already writing code for GM and Chrysler. A carpenter's grandson, Sage, 51, leaves behind more than IBM as he departs for India; he now has to sell the log cabin he built deep in the woods of Michigan.