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.

1

Jensen Huang

CEO, Nvidia
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Winni Wintermeyer for Fortune

Nobody is hotter in Silicon Valley right now than Jen-Hsun “Jensen” Huang, 54, the cofounder and CEO of semiconductor and software company Nvidia. The chipmaker’s GPUs, or “graphics processing units,” crunch the complex calculations necessary for cryptocurrency markets, so-called deep neural networks, and the visual fireworks you see on the big screen. Nvidia currently owns 70% of the market for GPUs thanks to Huang, a visionary who foresaw a blossoming market for a new kind of computing early enough to reposition his company years in advance. That vision and his company’s incredible financial performance—Nvidia has been growing profits at better than 50% annually and its stock has leapt from $30 to above $200 in two years—make Huang the clear choice as Fortune’s Businessperson of the Year for 2017. For the full cover story on Huang, go here. —Andrew Nusca

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Introducing Fortune's 2017 Businessperson of the Year

We whittled hundreds down to a list of 20.

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