Fortune’s 2010 Business Person of the Year: #1 Netflix Ceo, Reed Hastings; #3-Apple CEO Steve Jobs

Parallels Desktop 6 for MacFortune reporter, Peter Newcomb writes, “What does it take to be at the top of business in 2010? We searched for leaders who didn’t just crawl from the wreckage of the Great Recession, but sprinted from it. This year 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.”

Kleiner Perkins partner, John Doerr tells Fortune about Hastings, “He’s a hero of mine, as a human and as a leader. Reed was ahead of the technology curve with the DVD and completely changed an industry.”

Fortune reports, “Netflix, which Hastings founded in 2007, is the stock of the year, up more than 200% since January. Hastings doesn’t think Netflix will ever provide all the entertainment people want. His customers will also go to movie theaters, opt for pay-per-view on cable, or download via iTunes.” “We don’t have to be exclusive,” Hastings tells Fortune. “We just have to provide enough value that you stay with us for $9 a month.”

Fortune debuts its first ever Business Person of the Year with 49 other movers and shakers on the list, including #2-CEO of Ford Alan Mulally; #3-Apple CEO Steve Jobs; #4-Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg; and #5-DuPont CEO Ellen Kullman.

Of Steve Jobs, Fortune Reader’s Choice #2 (Alan Mulally is RC #1), Adam Lashinsky writes, “Steve Jobs and his company move from strength to strength to strength. In the past year Apple and its still-very-much-in-charge CEO have introduced the game-changing iPad, months ahead of the largely absent competition (latest stats: Apple controls 95% of the nascent tablet market); survived Antennagate (the iPhone 4 wasn’t all it was cracked up to be, but no matter); escaped any bad publicity over the dozen-plus suicides this year at its main supplier, Foxconn; gone to battle with Google over the future of the smartphone; and begun the transition from disk-drive-based computers to the radical flash-memory MacBook Air. Oh, and Apple’s 50% stock appreciation this year took it soaring past Microsoft to become the most valuable technology company on earth and second largest in capitalization only to Exxon Mobil. Analysts are now eyeing Apple’s growth in China, where owning a Jobs-crafted gizmo is a status symbol, and where the surge is just starting. After we named Jobs the CEO of the Decade in 2009, the bar was set high for this year. He cleared it — and then some.”

Full article here.


  1. I can’t really argue with choosing Netflix. They chose to embrace new directions (like Jobs’ Apple) rather than sitting on what they had (like Sculley’s/Schindler’s/Amelio’s Apple).

  2. Apple should have been Netflix, except for the fact that Steve Jobs hasn’t been neutral hardware solutions provider being Disney’s largest shareholder and all.

    Without a constant stream of new content, your dead. How many people are going to buy a AppleTV just to watch Hanna Montana and Barney the Dinosaur?

  3. @Bunches of Munches
    Ha, Netflix wishes it was Apple, even on Apple’s worst days. Talk about not having a perspective.
    Come back when Netflix is around 30 years from now vying for being the best corporation around.

  4. Yeah can’t argue with that. Steve Jobs is consistently in the top 5. That is really good. Ford survived a crucial time is their industry.

    that means Jobs is number 1 in his respective field of business. That says a lot considering how he has pulled his company away from competition and set standards.

    Right now Apple’s worst enemy is itself.

  5. > …the most valuable technology company on earth and second largest in capitalization only to Exxon Mobil.
    Apple is the third largest company by market cap, behind Exxon and PetroChina. Steve Jobs is also not the third best Business person of the year, Fortune. ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”wink” style=”border:0;” />

  6. What a steaming load of… Jobs basically created the cloud for consumer use.

    If you disagree with that, try this on… What has Netflix done? They deliver a lousy selection of streaming media (with mixed quality) to a variety of devices. Nothing Internet radio hasn’t been doing for much longer. Has Netflix actually developed anything, other than a set of warehouse distribution centers and a modest server farm?

    Compare that to Jobs, this year alone… Revolutionized the tablet. Something that M$ has struggled with for a decade. For that reason alone, Jobs and Apple leap over Netflix.

  7. SJ is still in the top 3. Reed has also done a phenomenal job in disrupting the established video rental market and has successfully executed on streaming media subscriptions. The were actually planning to release their own Netflix only hardware player and decided nearly at launch time to revamp their entire strategy. This key decision to support multiple hardware players is why they’re experiencing such tremendous market and stock growth. While I would still pick SJ as 1, Reed would easily be in my top 3.

  8. @ drbacon: “Apple is the third largest company by market cap, behind Exxon and PetroChina.”


    As far as I can tell, Apple surpassed PetroChina in market capitalization in late September. Currently, only Exxon currently has a larger market cap.

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