Fortune's annual list is filled with executives who defied expectations (buying a newspaper, leaving luxury for Apple), executed big turnarounds, and delivered stellar results for their shareholders.
CEO, Nike (NKE, Fortune 500)
Launches of the buzzy FuelBand and the Flyknit Racer shoe helped Parker, a former track star, boost Nike's stock some 50% this year.
NEXT: Jack Dorsey
What the two have in common is a rare form of design thinking powered by unfettered conviction.