While other bankers fretted about foreclosures and defaults this year, Avid Modjtabai spent her days (and a few nights) worrying about ATMs. Twelve thousand of them, to be exact, along with 58,000 servers, which store 21 million gigabytes of data and process 6.3 million checks each year. That's what it means to be the head of technology and operations at Wells Fargo & Co. as it digests behemoth Wachovia Bank and cements its position as the country's fourth-largest financial institution.

"Clearly it's a huge effort," says Modjtabai, pointing out that the merger doubled Wells' asset size, to $1.3 trillion, and that the combined institution now processes 15 billion customer transactions every year, all of which go through her department. "But when it's very challenging is also when it's very interesting."

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