Belinda Wong

President, Starbucks China | China

For trying to change an ancient Chinese habit with an American product.

Many American brands have entered China with success, but few have shaped Chinese habits so directly. When Belinda Wong became the president of Starbucks China in May 2011, the Seattle-based coffee giant had 400 stores in the country; by 2014 that number had tripled to more than 1,200. Under her watch, Starbucks is helping turn a nation of tea drinkers into one of budding coffee connoisseurs. Like other U.S. consumer goods giants, Starbucks has often had to reinvent itself in China and cater to Chinese tastes (think red bean Frappuccinos). Despite setbacks like the occasional spate of state media ire, Starbucks has struck gold in selling the U.S. lifestyle to an aspiring generation of Chinese urbanites.