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.
8

François-Henri Pinault

CEO, Kering
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Peter Yang—August

Under the leadership of François-Henri Pinault, French conglomerate Kering (formerly PPR) has refocused on what it does best: luxury. It has shed brands like Puma and sportswear brand Volcom and revitalized those like Gucci, which last quarter saw sales rise 28%. Meanwhile, sales at Kering’s other big brands, which include Saint Laurent and Balenciaga, continue to thrive despite fears of a slowdown in luxury spending in China. Pinault, also known as Mr. Salma Hayek, has prioritized overhauling Kering’s supply chain, making it faster to react to changing fashion. But he hasn’t shied away from occasionally needling his archrival, Bernard Arnault, chairman of the other major French luxe group, LVMH, which owns much larger rival Louis Vuitton and a few years ago tried to buy Gucci. “The potential of Gucci might be the same potential as Louis Vuitton, yes, over time,” Pinault told the Financial Times earlier this year. Mais bien sûr.

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