Microsoft’s India-born Chief Executive Officer Satya Nadella has occupied the top spot in Fortune’s Businessperson of the Year 2019 list, an annual compilation that also includes Mastercard CEO Ajay Banga and Arista head Jayshree Ullal.
Fortune’s annual Businessperson of the Year list features 20 business leaders. Also, “who tackled audacious goals, overcame impossible odds, found creative solutions”.
The list topped by Nadella, who at the helm of the technology giant since 2014.
“In a year dominated by political chaos and bluster. Also, 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,” Fortune said.
Satya Nadella has occupied the top spot in Fortune’s Businessperson of the Year 2019
Banga is ranked 8th, while Ullal comes in at the 18th spot in the list for which Fortune looked at 10 financial factors ranging from a total return to shareholders to return on capital. Both Banga and Ullal are of Indian-origin.
Fortune said Nadella, a computer scientist, was “neither a founder like Bill Gates nor a big-personality sales leader like his predecessor, Steve Ballmer when he was named the “surprise choice” to lead Microsoft in 2014. “He’d never worked in finance, another training ground for CEOs. And his stature on the global stage was non-existent. What’s more, having joined Microsoft in 1992. However, he thoroughly steeped in a dog-eat-dog Microsoft culture that had contributed to the company’s stagnation,” Fortune said.
In recognition of his achievements and advocacy. However, Banga awarded the prestigious Ellis Island Medal of Honour last year. The award presented annually to US citizens who have distinguished themselves within their own ethnic groups. Also, while exemplifying the values of the American way of life. Fortune said since arriving from giant rival Cisco in 2008, Ullal has turned Arista into a specialized market leader in Ethernet switches and open-source cloud software. In 2018, its operating margin reached 31.5 percent, eclipsing Cisco’s 28 percent.
“It’s impressive stuff from Ullal, an Indian-American born in London and raised in New Delhi. Also,” Fortune said, adding that despite an “underwhelming” fiscal performance, analysts “remain confident that Ullal has the track record and prowess to continue steering Arista to new heights”.
The list also includes CEO of Perth-based Fortescue Metals Group Elizabeth Gaines on the second spot. However, Puma CEO Bjorn Gulden ranked 5th, JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon (10), Accenture CEO Julie Sweet (15) and Alibaba CEO Daniel Zhang (16).