Elon Musk

Justin Chin—Bloomberg via Getty Images
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    Tesla and SpaceX

Is there anything Elon Musk can’t do? The 49-year-old Tesla and SpaceX CEO (and Boring Co., Neuralink, and OpenAI cofounder—phew!) has seemingly defied gravity this year, transforming his Silicon Valley electric-auto maker into one of the world’s most valuable companies and elevating his Los Angeles–area rocket manufacturer to new heights—including successfully sending humans into orbit from the U.S. for the first time since NASA quit doing so in 2011. The key to those successes? Musk’s resilience. The über-intelligent, often-controversial CEO places bets to reshape businesses that are bigger than most—cars, spaceships, brain-machine interfaces, etc.—and steers them to success with entrepreneurial audacity and executive fortitude. He has the returns to prove it too: Tesla’s addition to the S&P 500 took Musk’s personal net worth to new heights, making him the world’s second-wealthiest person, behind Amazon’s Jeff Bezos. (Read more: Our full profile of Fortune’s Businessperson of the Year.)