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.

11

Tricia Griffith

CEO, Progressive
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Courtesy of Progressive

A onetime Progressive claims rep, Griffith took the helm of the insurer in 2016 with an eye toward convincing consumers to buy a wider range of policies from the company. Her strategy appears to be working: The number of premiums sold was up nearly 15% in 2016, with the company’s new property insurance lines accounting for a growing share of sales. Not even one of the worst hurricane seasons in history has thrown the stock off course: Total revenue has grown more than 13%—and net income nearly 43%—over the past 12 months. As for Progressive shares, they have surged more than 60% over the same period.—Kristen Bellstrom

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