Businessperson of the Year

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Concrete results. They’re what drive Fortune’s annual ranking of corporate chieftains. Of course, intangibles and inspiration matter. But what counts most for companies is the ability to generate cold, hard cash. What follows is an assemblage of superstars who navigated the inevitable turmoil this year and led their companies to stellar and, yes, concrete results. Learn more about the list here.

1 Mark Parker CEO Nike
2 Mark Zuckerberg CEO Facebook
3 Andrew Wilson CEO Electronic Arts
4 Tim Cook CEO Apple
5 Ajay Banga CEO Mastercard
6 Mary Dillon CEO Ulta Beauty
7 Lei Jun CEO Xiaomi
8 Travis Kalanick CEO Uber
9 Steve Ells and Montgomery Moran Co-CEOs Chipotle
10 George Scangos CEO Biogen
11 Larry Page CEO Alphabet
12 Howard Schultz CEO Starbucks
13 Robert Iger CEO Disney
14 Morris Chang Chairman Taiwan Semiconductor
15 Bernard Arnault CEO LVMH
16 Francisco D’Souza CEO Cognizant
17 Barbara Rentler CEO Ross Stores
18 Ma Mingzhe Chairman Ping An
19 David Aldrich CEO Skyworks
20 Wesley Batista CEO JBS
21 Michael Neidorff CEO Centene
22 Bradley Tilden CEO Alaska Air
23 David Congdon CEO Old Dominion Freight Line
24 Leonard Schleifer CEO Regeneron
25 Jack Ma Chairman Alibaba
26 Morris Goldfarb CEO G-III Apparel
27 Pony Ma CEO Tencent
28 Carol Meyrowitz CEO TJX
29 Charles Scharf CEO Visa
30 Kazuhiro Tsuga President Panasonic
31 Harold Messmer CEO Robert Half
32 Pierre Nanterme CEO Accenture
33 Gregory Sandfort CEO Tractor Supply
34 Laura Alber CEO Williams-Sonoma
35 Robert Greenberg CEO Skechers USA
36 Kevin Plank CEO Under Armour
37 John Martin CEO Gilead
38 Robert Martin CEO Thor Industries
39 Gary Kelly CEO Southwest Airlines
40 David Cordani CEO Cigna
41 Donald Walker CEO Magna International
42 Phebe Novakovic CEO General Dynamics
43 Tim Boyle CEO Columbia Sportswear
44 Darren Huston CEO The Priceline Group
45 Matthew Missad CEO Universal Forest Products
46 Constantine Iordanou CEO Arch Capital
47 Satya Nadella CEO Microsoft
48 Stephen Hemsley CEO UnitedHealth Group
49 Richard Johnson CEO Foot Locker
50 Vernon Nagel CEO Acuity Brands

Laura Alber

CEO, Williams-Sonoma
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Photograph by Paul Zimmerman — WireImage/Getty Images

In 2010 Alber ascended to the top job at the chain that epitomizes kitchens as upper- middle-class fantasyland—all gorgeous copper pans and colanders that gleam like sterling silver (and seem to cost almost as much). Since then she has delivered tasty stock performance: a cumulative 160%, nearly double the S&P 500’s gain during that period. Just five years ago, the $4.8 billion company struggled with shaky online sales, but now it’s one of the country’s biggest e-tailers with nearly half of its sales online. In the most recent quarter Alber heated up revenues 8.5% in part by adopting technologies aimed at improving the customer experience. Williams-Sonoma launched its first app, Recipe of the Day, partnered with YouTube to offer shoppable online videos, and enabled Visa Checkout as a secure and easy way to pay online. The CEO also promoted in-store events, like panini-making classes, and announced plans to add 11 stores to its fastest-growing brand, West Elm, which has brought home double-digit growth in recent years.

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