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.

17

Michael Neidorff

CEO, Centene
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Dilip Vishwanat — St. Louis Business Journal

Under Neidorff’s surefooted command, St. Louis–based insurer Centene has forged its own path, and prospered, in America’s uncertain health care markets. Once a modest-size Medicaid provider, the managed-care company has expanded quickly—vaulting from No. 453 to 66 on the Fortune 500 in five years’ time—and it has done so, in part, by entering markets that rivals have fled (Medicare Advantage, prison health care, the precarious Obama-care exchanges). Profits at Centene are up 109% for the past 12 months, and Centene’s investors have prospered big-time. The company’s total return for the past year: 69%. —Erika Fry

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