The Businessperson of the Year is….
He may have many of the worst characteristics of today's leaders—but he performs.
This is the web version of CEO Daily. To get it delivered to your inbox, sign up here. Good morning, and the winner is: Elon Musk. I have never been a Musk fanboy; he is a mix of some of the worst characteristics of today’s leaders—more messianic than Adam Neumann, as allergic to rules and governance as Travis Kalanick, nearly as narcissistic as Donald Trump. Anyone remember “pedo guy” and “funding secured”? But you can’t fake, bully or bulls–t your way to Businessperson of the Year. It’s based on a rigorous screen of company performance. First off, there’s Tesla’s stock, which is insane—up over 1,000% since the summer of 2019, giving the company a market value north of half a trillion. On top of that, the company now has five straight quarters of profit behind it. And SpaceX has skyrocketed as well, receiving a $46 billion valuation in its August funding. Moreover, as someone who celebrates companies putting purpose before profit, I have to acknowledge that Musk beats all. His purpose is immense: to save the planet from climate conflagration… and create a colony on Mars, just in case. And as absurd as that may sound, he is making remarkable progress. So hats off to him. He has earned this honor. You can read Michal Lev-Ram and Andrew Nusca’s wonderful story on the phenom here. Others on this year’s top 20 include the obvious (Reed Hastings, #4; Jeff Bezos, #7), as well as some surprises. Perhaps most interesting is that seven of the 20 are women, leading with AMD’s Lisa Su (#2) and including Fortune’s Most Powerful Woman, Julie Sweet of Accenture (#14). You can find the full list here. By the way, Sweet was one of the speakers yesterday at Fortune’s virtual Brainstorm Tech conference. Among other things, she talked about how the events of 2020 had encouraged leaders to adopt new humility. Did anyone tell Elon? More news below. News below. Alan Murray@email@example.com