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, Genworth Financial (GNW, Fortune 500)
McInerney is only 11 months into the CEO job but has boosted profits 124% for the first nine months of 2013.
NEXT: Dick Costolo
What the two have in common is a rare form of design thinking powered by unfettered conviction.