2010's top people in business
When Fortune set out to pick the Businessperson of the Year -- and the 49 runners-up -- we searched for leaders who didn't just crawl from the wreckage of the Great Recession, but sprinted from it. Below is the compete list. Select each name to read more or click here to scroll through the gallery of winners. We also asked readers to tell us who they thought should be at the top of the list. You can find the results of that March Madness-style competition here.
Fortune's Businessperson of the Year, 2010
• 1. Reed Hastings, Netflix
Reader's Choice: 3
2010 stock performance rank: 1
Cannibalization is something that is much talked about in business, but rarely practiced. At Netflix, it's being streamed daily. This year Reed Hastings has thrown his company's muscle behind delivering television and movies over the Internet, risking his $2-billion-in-sales DVD-by-mail business. The result: a company that has grown from a gnat to a giant. His catalog is expanding -- this summer Netflix got streaming rights to movies from Paramount, MGM, and Lionsgate -- as are subscribers (up 5 million in the U.S., while cable companies are seeing net defections). Already his software is a must-have for the 200-plus device makers who want to brag about having Netflix inside. Now when deals are made in media, the increasingly important question is, "What's the Netflix piece?" In the fall Netflix began its push outside the U.S. (hello, Canada!), and the rest of the world awaits the Netflix treatment from Hastings. Against a backdrop of soaring revenue and customers, international expansion, and the bankruptcy of bitter rival Blockbuster, Netflix stock has gone supersonic since January, rising more than 200%. Hastings used to be an interesting entrepreneur with an uncertain future. Now it's clear the kid definitely stays in the picture.
--Michael V. Copeland
2. Steve Jobs，Apple
3. Alan Mulally, Ford (F, Fortune 500)
4. Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook
5. Ellen Kullman, DuPont (DD, Fortune 500)
6. Robin Li , Bidu (BIDU)
2010 stock performance rank: 2
Google's loss was Baidu's gain -- especially when that loss was China's 420 million web users. In March, Google stopped censoring its search results in China and redirected Chinese searchers to its Hong Kong site. The company's market share began tanking -- and there to take up the slack was Robin Li's Baidu. Baidu, which already led the Chinese market, is now a juggernaut. Its end-of-2009 market share of 58% is now up to an amazing 73%. With some 8.5 billion search requests a month, it's poised to overtake Yahoo as the world's second-largest search outfit.
7. Larry Ellison, Oracle (ORCL, Fortune 500)
8. Warren Buffett, Berkshire Hathaway (BRKA, Fortune 500)
9. Ray Dalio, Bridgewater
10. Jeffrey Bezos, Amazon (AMZN, Fortune 500)
11. Eric Schmidt, Google (GOOG, Fortune 500)
12. Mark Pincus, Zynga
13. James Skinner, McDonald's (MCD, Fortune 500)
14. David Novak, Yum Brands (YUM, Fortune 500)
15. Samuel Palmisano, IBM (IBM, Fortune 500)
16. Angela Ahrendts, Burberry Group
17. Larry Fink, BlackRock (BCS)
18. Marc Benioff, Salesforce.com (CRM)
19. Marc Andreessen, Andreessen Horowitz
20. Shlomo Yanai, Teva Pharmaceutical (TEVA)
21. Wang Chuanfu, BYD (BYD)
Sales growth rank: 3
Profit growth rank: 1
BYD was built on creating batteries (instead of importing batteries from Japan, Wang had them built -- by hand -- in China), but its future is in cars. Last year BYD began selling its first electric car in China. This year it announced plans to establish its North American headquarters in Los Angeles in advance of a U.S. model, due in 2011, and a new electric line in partnership with Daimler. Wang counts Warren Buffett as a backer; the legendary investor's $230 million stake is now worth $1.2 billion.