Tech: Cindy Holland, Netflix
Vice president for original series Holland won this year's best in tech contest by a considerable margin, with over 68% of reader's votes. Here's what Fortune's JP Mangalindan had to say about Holland: For Netflix, this year has been about the release of compelling original content. The video-streaming service's 40 million-plus userbase have Cindy Holland to largely thank for that. Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos has called the longtime Netflix executive instrumental to the development of new shows like the prison comedy-drama Orange is the New Black and Capitol Hill-schemer House of Cards. Indeed, the latter, starring Kevin Spacey, nabbed three Emmys, making it the first web-only series to do so.
Retail: Frank Blake, Home Depot
Home Depot Chairman and CEO Frank Blake took top honors in our retail category this year, with over 70% of reader's votes. Here's Fortune writer Beth Kowitt's take on Blake: Since 2008, when business was crushed by the housing crisis, Blake has managed to oversee an increase in profits at the home improvement giant every year. A recovery in real estate hasn't made him forget the lessons from the Great Recession, when he decided to end new store openings. It's not easy for a CEO to decide to turn his back on that kind of growth strategy, but Blake has invested in the company in other ways -- by putting money into customer service, employees, and Home Depot's supply chain. He's shown that he knows how to make those tough calls, including pulling out of China, which doesn't have a DIY culture.
Wall Street: John Stumpf, Wells Fargo
Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf reigned victorious in our Wall Street contest this year. Fortune's Stephen Gandel said the following about Stumpf: This year, Stumpf steered the Wells Fargo wagon to profit town. The San Francisco-based bank is on track to earn nearly $21 billion in 2013. That will give Wells the title of most profitable bank in the U.S., something that Stumpf's predecessors have never been able to claim. The bank got an assist from Jamie Dimon and JPMorgan Chase's continuing legal woes. Still, Wells never abandoned the mortgage market, solidifying its lead in the home lending business as others were running for cover. That has paid off. More than any other bank, Wells has benefited from the low interest rate refi boom, and the rebound of the housing market. Wells Fargo may not be able to hold onto the most profitable crown for long, but this award is for 2013.
Autos: Joe Hinrichs, Ford
It was a close race between Nissan's Carla Bailo and Joe Hinrichs of Ford, but Hinrichs managed to pull ahead in the end, with just a little over 50% of reader's votes. Here's what Fortune contributor Doron Levin had to say about Ford's president of its Americas division: When Alan Mulally was tapped as CEO of Ford Motor Co. in 2006, the automaker lagged far behind its peers in developing a strategy for making and selling vehicles in China. Hinrichs, who had started his career at General Motors, was a rising star at Ford who had caught Mulally's eye. After being promoted to run global manufacturing in 2007, Hinrichs was sent to China by Mulally in 2009 to lead an aggressive growth campaign. On his watch, Ford opened or started construction on nine new manufacturing plants in China, India, and southeast Asia and committed to launch 50 new vehicle models through 2015. In December 2012, Hinrichs was appointed executive vice president, responsible for Ford's activities in the western hemisphere. After Mark Fields, who is widely expected to succeed Mulally as CEO, Hinrichs is regarded as the next highest ranked executive at Ford.