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.
12

Shantanu Narayen

CEO, Adobe
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Jeff Bottari—Invision for Adobe/AP Images

The maker of creativity tools like Photoshop doesn’t quite grab headlines like some of its Silicon Valley neighbors. But Adobe is playing the long game—and so is Shantanu Narayen. In November the CEO celebrated his 11th anniversary at the helm, a tenure that’s increasing rare in corporate America. One glance at Adobe’s stock price—which this year gained 57% to peak at about $275—reveals why. Narayen’s move to turn boxed software into cloud services gave the San Jose company a subscription business that keeps on giving. And his recent rash of marketing-tech acquisitions—$1.68 billion for Magento, $4.75 billion for Marketo—signals he’s not afraid to compete with Salesforce and Oracle. A quiet giant? Not anymore.

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