• Business

People to Watch in International Business

3 minute read
Rebecca Winters

ANNE MCKEVITT Founder, Anne McKevitt Ideas

Picture a much younger Martha Stewart with a Scottish accent, marketed to the Ikea demographic, and you have McKevitt. Through her home-design TV shows, books and branded lines of bedding, paint and tiles, McKevitt, 33, has styled herself Britain’s premier living brand. In September the former hairdresser’s assistant who left home at 15 will tackle the U.S. market through home-shopping shows, catalogs and the Internet.

CHRISTINE TSAI-YI TSUNG President and CEO, China Airlines

The daughter of a nationalist Chinese air force pilot, Tsung has an MBA from the University of Missouri and finance experience at Columbia Pictures and in California city government. After returning to Taiwan in 1999, Tsung, 52, was tapped to run the national airline. She has introduced stock options and appealed to skeptical pilots in the Sichuan dialect that many of them speak. And she’s credited for increasing profits 95% in the first quarter.

HECTOR BARRETO JR. Administrator, U.S. Small Business Administration

His earliest experience with small business was waiting tables at age nine in his parents’ Mexican restaurant in Kansas City, Mo. The first in his family to attend college, Barreto founded Barreto Insurance and Financial Services, a small company catering to Latinos. He worked on George W. Bush’s presidential campaign and was confirmed to head the SBA last month. Barreto, 39, will take over just as Bush plans to slash the SBA’s funding 40%.


The task of reinventing the music industry has fallen heavily on the shoulders of German media executive Hilbers. Last month he left BMG, the music branch at Bertelsmann AG, to run the lawsuit-plagued music site Napster. Before joining BMG, Hilbers, 38, spent four years managing AOL Europe, a property of TIME’s parent company. Now he will try to transform Napster from industry rogue to copyright-respecting subscription service.

STANLEY O’NEAL President and COO, Merrill Lynch

Selected for the No. 2 job at Merrill Lynch last month, O’Neal is expected to win top billing at the nation’s largest securities firm when current CEO David Komansky retires in three years. That would make O’Neal, 49, the first black CEO of a major Wall Street brokerage house. Reared on a farm in Wedowee, Ala., O’Neal attended a one-room schoolhouse and worked the late shift at a General Motors plant in Georgia before landing at Harvard Business School. He joined Merrill as an investment banker in 1986 and later served as CFO and brokerage chief.

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