Businessperson of the Year

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We start with results. Each December, when we choose Fortune’s Businessperson of the Year, we run the numbers, weighing 10 financial metrics including 12-month and 36-month increases in profits and revenue (we use a three-year window to eliminate any companies that post a great year following a slump). We also weight stock performance and total shareholder returns over the same period. Only then do we factor in those intangibles that separate so-so CEOs from the standouts—things like business influence, strategic vision, and the impact of their leadership. The result? Twenty businesspeople who delivered.
15

Ana Botín

Executive Chairman, Santander Group
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Luke MacGregor—Bloomberg via Getty Images

Brexit, financial crises, and general market turbulence around the globe have certainly tested this international retail-banking powerhouse in recent years. Yet Botín, who has helmed Santander since the sudden death of her father, Emilio, in September 2014, has deftly steered the firm to steady revenue and profi t growth while improving the bank’s capital ratios, accelerating digitization, and cultivating greater loyalty from its 140 million customers in Europe and the Americas. In September, Botín named UBS vet Andrea Orcel (a longtime Santander adviser) as CEO, but Botín’s public face seems to get only more prominent with her new and active Twitter account, where she shares her views on everything from the EU to blockchain to feminism.

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