“I feel like a broken record, but we continue to be really thrilled with our results,” said Progressive CEO Tricia Griffith at the start of an earnings call in November. Sure enough, the Cleveland-based home and auto insurer keeps rolling on with a streak of impressive gains. Revenues grew 20% over the past year, and since Griffith took charge of the company in July 2016, Progressive’s stock has more than doubled (it currently hovers around $74 a share).
Accomplishments like these led Fortune to name Griffith 2018’s Businessperson of the Year. But the metrics considered for that honor weren’t just financial. Griffith is a charismatic leader who more than 30 years ago began her career at Progressive as an entry-level claims representative. Other jobs along her path to CEO: president of customer operations, chief human resources officer, claims group president, and more. Despite all this, you can still find her in the company cafeteria on Fridays chatting with rank-and-file employees when she’s not traveling. While this year’s honor went to someone else, Griffith is still undoubtedly one of the most powerful women in business—her ranking on Fortune’s list rose once again to No. 11.
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