2013's top people in business

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.

3.  'Pony' Ma Huateng

bpoy pony ma

Co-founder and CEO, Tencent

Ma's Internet empire, Tencent, this year became China's most valuable non-state-owned company, with a market value of more than $95 billion, thanks to a 61% surge in the stock price since January. (Shares are up nearly 10,000% -- no, that's not a typo -- since its 2004 IPO.) Company co-founder Ma, in turn, became one of China's richest tech entrepreneurs (estimated net worth: $10 billion, behind No. 24 Robin Li of Baidu) but arguably the most powerful. He first conquered the Chinese market with his QQ chat service. Now he's setting his sights on expansion around the world: Tencent was reportedly vying for a stake in the popular U.S. app Snapchat in November. Last year it inked a deal with Activision Blizzard (ATVI) that makes Tencent the U.S. gamemaker's exclusive launch partner of a Chinese version of videogame Call of Duty. Ma has his sights set beyond China -- and technology. This year he began heavily promoting Tencent's WeChat messaging app in international markets, and in November, Ma joined another Chinese Internet billionaire, Alibaba founder Jack Ma, to announce the first online insurance business in China. Analysts responded: "Huh? Insurance?" But it seems this tech star is already charting his next move.

--Scott Cendrowski

  @FortuneMagazine - Last updated November 21 2013 01:32 PM ET
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