Businessperson of the Year

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It starts with results. Each December, when we choose Fortunes Businessperson of the Year, we focus first on CEOs who are delivering the goods. Through an exhaustive screening process, we rank companies by 12- and 36-month increases in profits, revenues, and stock performance, then go deeper to include factors like return on capital. (We give more weight to the 12-month results to identify who’s on top today, but also include the 36-month figures to weed out those who may have just had a lucky year.) But it’s not only about the numbers. We lean toward CEOs with vision—those impacting the world beyond their companies. The 20 star executives that follow are doing nothing less than defining the future of business.

10

Francisco D’Souza

CEO, Cognizant
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Matthew Eisman — Getty Images

The $14.4 billion IT consulting and outsourcing shop D’Souza cofounded in 1994 is on a roll, averaging 15.1% annual sales growth over the past three years. That strong performance has been across multiple sectors and geographies—and has come in the middle of Cognizant’s own transformation. A year ago, D’Souza rejiggered the company to prioritize services that help clients adapt and keep pace with the digital revolution (all the buzzwords—A.I., data analytics, etc.—apply). Those offerings now account for a quarter of Cognizant’s revenue and help explain the stock’s blistering 49% total return over the past 12 months. —Erika Fry

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