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.
14

Jeff Bezos

CEO, Amazon
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Phillip Faraone—Getty Images

Author Brad Stone famously called Amazon.com “the Everything Store.” It’s now equally apparent the company’s founder, with his ruthless, focused, methodical approach to business, is “the Everything CEO.” Amazon redefined retailing, and though it took two decades to get there, the company has become consistently profitable. Bezos rewrote the rules for web hosting too, creating Amazon Web Services, the profit and growth engine of the company. Along the way, Bezos has injected new life into the Washington Post and space company Blue Origin. But despite Amazon’s reach (which will increase even further with its headquarters expansions), the company still grows like a startup: Revenues have jumped 26% annually over the past three years.

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