Occupation: CEO of BP
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Drafted to steady BP after the Deepwater Horizon spill and the much-mocked performance of the previous CEO, Tony Hayward, the oil giant's new chief executive, Bob Dudley, instead engineered a groundbreaking and highly controversial share swap with the Russian state oil company Rosneft that would have left the Kremlin as the largest single shareholder in the U.K. enterprise. The scheme was blocked, but analysts don't rule out a resolution that could see some version of the agreement implemented. Whatever the outcome, the maneuver made clear that far from keeping BP out of the headlines, Dudley's ambitious and innovative approach is likely to keep the company and its boss firmly in the public eye.