3. Kevin Kennedy, CEO, Avaya
One hallmark of a maverick is making big bets that most executives would shy away from. That's what Kevin Kennedy has done with a planned $915 million deal to buy Nortel's enterprise network business. The deal instantly changes the face of Avaya, and its reverberations will be felt throughout the network market for years to come. What we love about Kennedy is he has followed the big deal up with big-time channel commitment. Kennedy says the acquisition will accelerate Avaya's channel growth to a point where Avaya becomes an 85 percent indirect sales company within two years.