Businessperson of the Year 2019

“Lead from the back,” Nelson Mandela famously said, “and let others believe they are in front.” In a year dominated by political chaos and bluster, it was a rare brand of steady—even quiet— leadership that won the day in the business world. And no one epitomizes that brand of obsessively results-driven, team-based leadership more than our new No. 1 Businessperson of the Year. To create our annual list, we first screen for results, looking at 10 financial factors ranging from total return to shareholders to return on capital. Then we search for the standouts. The leaders who tackled audacious goals, overcame impossible odds, found creative solutions. Read on for how they—and their companies— thrived in 2019. You just might learn something about tackling a challenge of your own.