Fortune 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.