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.

13

Mark Zuckerberg

CEO, Facebook
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Justin Sullivan — Getty Images

Running an epoch-defining global company is tough work, as Mark Zuckerberg is finding out the hard way. Facebook didn’t have a grip on its own publishing platform, allowing Russians and plain-old commercial scammers to take advantage of Facebook’s users. Though initially dismissive, the CEO has promised to address the crisis. The reason this all matters is that the business he founded—now valued at more than a half-trillion dollars—continues to mint profits (a record $4.7 billion in the third quarter). It also continues to expand through its portfolio approach to virtual reality and all manner of digital advertising. —Adam Lashinsky

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