There will be plenty of surprises in the coming year, but here are 10 people you're sure to want to watch as 2014 unfolds (pictured above from left to right).
Mary Barra, General Motors
As the new CEO, Ms. Barra becomes the most powerful woman in business, leading a company with a worldwide advertising and promotion budget topping $5 billion.
Debra Berman, JC Penney
New marketing chief for JC Penney is already picking up the shattered remains, but 2014 will be the true test.
Publicis CFO Jean-Michel Etienne and Omnicom CFO Randy Weisenburger
Post-merger, there probably won't be room for both. So who stays, and where will the other land? And will the one who stays be in line for the throne?
A.G. Lafley, Procter & Gamble
Mr. Lafley returned to his old CEO job this year, replacing Bob McDonald. Can he maintain a U.S. sales spurt, find growth abroad and groom a successor?
Carter Murray, DraftFCB
Beleaguered agency's latest CEO wasted no time shaking up its executive ranks. All eyes will be on the agency in 2014 to see if a focus on creativity will pay off.
Bob Pittman, Clear Channel
CEO has an all-star team in place, but will it be enough to overcome its debt burden -- and the challenges radio faces in a digital world?
Edith Ramirez, FTC
The Federal Trade Commission chairwoman has said that "with big data comes big responsibility." In other words, you'll all be on her radar in 2014.
Joe Ripp, Time Inc.
New CEO will take the publisher of People and Sports Illustrated out to sink or swim independent of Time Warner. Many will view the result as a verdict on magazines.
Michael Sneed, Johnson & Johnson
Mr. Sneed, VP-global corporate affairs, this year launched a corporate campaign and a new Tylenol effort as J&J makes a comeback from a rough few years. With Coke vet Alison Lewis onboard, what's their next move?
Emily White, Snapchat
After coming over from Instagram, the new chief operating officer will try to do for Snapchat and CEO Evan Spiegel what Sheryl Sandberg did for Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg.