5. Richard Anderson

Illustration by Alex Fine
Illustration by Alex Fine

Focus Business, Transportation
Age 60
When Anderson took over at Delta Air Lines in 2007, the company had just emerged from bankruptcy. Since then, Delta has absorbed Northwest Airlines, scored the best on-time performance among major airlines, and earned record profits. With more than 32,000 local employees, Delta is Georgia’s largest private employer, and Anderson has not been shy about using his influence as a corporate titan. In 2014 he led the business sector’s opposition to a “religious freedom” bill designed to curb same-sex marriage, a move that made him few friends in the General Assembly.

Locally engaged Under Anderson, Delta has donated $1 million to Atlanta’s National Center for Civil and Human Rights.

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This article originally appeared in our October 2015 issue.