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.
19

Vicki Hollub

CEO, Occidental Petroleum
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F. Carter Smith—Bloomberg via Getty Images

After Hollub graduated from the University of Alabama, she took a job on an oil rig in Mississippi—and was hooked. She spent the next 30 years climbing the ladder at Occidental—until 2015, when she was named CEO, making Hollub the first woman to run a major American oil company. (She took office in April 2016.) Occidental reported more than a half-billion dollars in losses in fiscal year 2016, but soon her focus on cutting costs and expanding operations would pay off. Revenue is up 40% over 12 months, and profits grew by nearly one-third over the past three years, owing in part to early investment and rapid growth in the Permian Basin near West Texas. Does she have a good luck charm? Perhaps—her prized possession is a portrait of legendary ’Bama coach Bear Bryant.

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