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    A Woman to Watch

    The Wall Street Journal names BP exec Vivienne Cox to its list of female leaders.

    WARRENVILLE, Ill. -- BP PLC's most senior female executive, Vivienne Cox, has been named one of 50 Women to Watch by The Wall Street Journal. The list recognizes women leaders who are breaking stereotypes about what females can and can't do well, and opening up new opportunities for women who will follow them.

    Cox, listed at No. 33, serves BP as executive vice president, Gas, Power and Trading. As head of its wildly-profitable trading operations, she's been thrown into the spotlight over a spate of compliance woes in the U.S. this year, the newspaper said.

    Cox, 47, hasn't been implicated in any of the alleged schemes, but it falls to the Oxford University graduate to navigate the various investigations and clean up the mess, according to The Wall Street Journal. Thus far, she's kept a low profile, declining several requests for interviews by the newspaper over the past three years.

    In addition to heading up trading, Cox is CEO of BP's gas, power and renewable-energy business. Last year, the company unveiled a 10-year, $8 billion investment plan for alternative energy and put her in charge.

    If she survives regulatory scrutiny, Cox could emerge as a strong candidate to succeed BP chief executive John Browne, who will step down in two years, The Wall Street Journal reported. Though she's part of Browne's small circle of lieutenants, she remains a dark horse for the top job.

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