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.
Chairman and CEO, Starbucks (SBUX, Fortune 500)
--Cultural impact --Returnee
Schultz is brewing more than coffee (see Leadership Q&A), which has helped boost sales and profits, and drove a 51% gain in the stock this year.
NEXT: Carol Meyrowitz
What the two have in common is a rare form of design thinking powered by unfettered conviction.