Next we check out food marketer extraordinaire Kevin Cleary, CEO of Clif Bar, one of the smallest companies in our list, but one that is nevertheless notching up impressive growth.
Pathway to the top: Cleary started his career at PepsiCo’s Quaker Oats division, taking on more senior marketing roles before becoming senior vice president of marketing at printing specialist R.R. Donnelley. He joined Clif Bar in 2004 as executive vice president of sales, and was promoted to COO in 2006. By 2009 he was promoted to president and in April 2013, he was named CEO.
Education: Cleary has a bachelor’s degree in social science from the University of California, Berkeley and an MBA from Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Business.