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.

12

Sheng Yue Gui

CEO, Geely Automotive Holdings
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Jessica Hromas — Bloomberg via Getty Images

There were plenty of skeptics when Geely, a modest Hangzhou, China–based brand and the majority owner of Geely Automotive, bought Volvo, the Swedish carmaker, in 2010. Harvard Business Review ticked off a few reasons for doubt back then, but all amounted to this: The Chinese company lacked the “management skills” to pull off such a large integration. Today, both brands are undeniably better off: Geely Automotive, under the leadership of Gui (in partnership with Geely CEO An Cong Hui), has masterfully adapted Volvo’s technology and style. And over the past three years, shareholders have been rewarded with a total return of 691%. —Erika Fry

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