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2014

Stephen Smith

President and CEO

L.L. Bean

Stephen Smith, who joined from parent Walmart’s China business, arrived at Asda’s Leeds headquarters in 2012 to tackle siloed divisions, with the in-store and advertising teams reporting to different people. He is tasked with bringing Asda’s everyday low-price strategy to life, with its “cheeky and honest” personality, in the competitive supermarket sector. Last December, he was named the new CEO and president of Maine-based clothing company L.L Bean. He says balancing long-term strategy with short-term tactical agility keeps him busy.

Best advice: "Be humble, a lot was created before you were born."