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.
3

Jensen Huang

CEO, Nvidia
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Photograph by Winni Wintermeyer for Fortune

Jensen Huang, CEO of graphics chipmaker Nvidia, hasn’t taken his foot o the gas since Fortune named him 2017’s Businessperson of the Year. The Silicon Valley company he cofounded continues to blow away Wall Street estimates for its biggest businesses, including gaming, data centers, and automotive. (A far smaller bet on cryptocurrency hasn’t quite panned out.) To say investors have enjoyed Huang’s tenure would be a dramatic understatement: Total return to shareholders over a three-year period has been an astounding 789%, making Nvidia the fourth-largest company by market cap of the 20 on our list. The even better news? There’s still a lot to look forward to. The launch of Nvidia’s next-generation graphics cards, called Turing, should stoke sales even further. And while rival Intel has vowed to produce competing graphics chips in 2020, its lack of a permanent CEO gives Huang the strategic upper hand.

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