8. John A. Luke Jr. 

MeadWestvaco Chairman and CEO

Did you like the fireworks at Brown’s Island? Thank John Luke, chairman and chief executive at MeadWestvaco. Since moving to Richmond about five years ago, he’s leaped into downtown power brokering. He joined with Tom Farrell (No. 2) to push for a new Richmond Coliseum a year ago and is one of the few corporate chiefs with enough wiggle room to bang heads. But will he? For now he’s sticking to the nonprofit community, serving on the board of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. MeadWestvaco also is sponsoring trips to the Children’s Museum for every first- and second-grader in the Richmond schools. Recent years have been good to Luke, whose total compensation grew from $5.6 million in 2006 to nearly $15 million in 2010.

2010 Ranking:16

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