1 CADBURY SCHWEPPES TODD STITZER CHIEF EXECUTIVE
The company founded by the British Quakers broke the mould when it appointed all-American Stitzer as CEO. The former attorney joined Cadbury Schweppes in 1983 and has worked his way to the top of one of the few UK companies that can compete with the best that the US can offer.
2 UNILEVER PATRICK CESCAU CHAIRMAN
It hasn't been a great start for Cescau, who replaced Niall Fitzgerald as Unilever chairman earlier this year. Third-quarter underlying sales fell 1.3% and turnover dropped 4% to £10.6 billion. But he must be doing something right - Unilever climbs from sixth to second place in our tables.
3 BP LORD BROWNE OF MADINGLEY GROUP CEO
Although BP unveiled third-quarter profits of $3.9 billion, up 43% on Q3 2003, Lord Browne warned that costs would continue to rise as steel prices increase and the dollar remains weak. It's steady for the time being, though, as high oil prices mitigate the rising costs.
4 TESCO SIR TERRY LEAHY CHIEF EXECUTIVE
Commanding a workforce of nearly 250,000 worldwide, Sir Terry is going for global domination as the opposition in the UK is almost vanquished. For every £100 spent in British shops, more than £12 goes into Tesco's capacious till.
5 MAN GROUP STANLEY FINK CHIEF EXECUTIVE
Man Group raced up from 27th to fifth place this year, easily topping the Capacity to Innovate category. It's now the world's largest quoted hedge fund manager, responsible for about $40 billion worth of assets. Fink became the highest-paid FTSE-100 boss last year, earning £6.9 million.
6 SERCO GROUP KEVIN BEESTON EXECUTIVE CHAIRMAN
Serco is the highest new entry in this year's list, a triumphant debut for the outsourcing services business that has made successful inroads into the US market. With Serco for almost 20 years, Beeston now leads a company that has £5.3 billion worth of bids under evaluation and strong organic growth.
7 IMI MARTIN LAMB CHIEF EXECUTIVE
Since taking the helm of engineering firm IMI in 2001, Lamb has transformed the business. The youthful 44-year-old has made job cuts and invested in new products, and IMI has announced that 2004 first-half turnover was up 3% to £807 million. It's a new entry to BMAC.
8 HSBC SIR JOHN BOND GROUP CHAIRMAN
Sir John, 63, began his career at HSBC in 1961. Founded in 1865, the Hong Kong & Shanghai Banking Corporation is now the world's 'local bank' and the third-largest on the planet, with 10,000 offices in 76 countries and territories.
9 VODAFONE ARUN SARIN CHIEF EXECUTIVE
CEO Sarin leads Vodafone to the top of its sector again, at the helm of an ambitious company that eclipses all other UK players operating in the international mobile telecoms market. Vodafone recently launched its long-awaited global 3G service, Vodafone Live!
10 WOLSELEY CHARLES BANKS CHIEF EXECUTIVE
First top 10 finish for the firm with a history that includes patenting sheep-shearing equipment and making the first Wolseley car. It's now the world's leading distributor of heating and plumbing products, and a major supplier of builders' materials. Wolseley operates in 13 countries in Europe and North America, with total group annual sales topping £10 billion.