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Peter Cuneo, Marvel Entertainment (MVL: NYSE)

Tenure: July 1999 - December 2002

Peter Cuneo joined Marvel Entertainment just after it emerged from bankruptcy protection, with a heavy debt load, limited cash, and a depressed corporate culture. He focused on expanding the company's international business and adopting a licensing model for movies, TV, and consumer products. Movies based on its characters became cash-cow blockbusters. Cuneo also rejuvenated Marvel's core comic book business, bringing in new talent for both writing and illustration. When he took the reins of Marvel, its stock was at 94 cents a share; 10 years later (with Cuneo as vice chairman) the company was sold to Walt Disney for more than $4 billion, or $54 a share. Prior to joining Marvel, Cuneo orchestrated successful turnarounds at Remington, divisions of Clairol, and Black & Decker.

Sources: cnn.com, usatoday.com

Photo: Courtesy of Peter Cuneo