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.

5.  Reed Hastings/Jeff Bewkes (tie)

bpoy reed hastings jeff bewkes
5

CEOs of Netflix and Time Warner

--Returnees
--No. 3 stock price gainer (Netflix)

It has been three years since Fortune named Reed Hastings businessperson of the year; shortly afterward, Jeff Bewkes, CEO of Time Warner (TWX, Fortune 500), compared Netflix (NFLX) to the "Albanian army" -- unlikely to take over the world. There's little dispute now that the business Hastings leads is ready for battle. Its programs are Emmy winners (House of Cards) and buzz generators (Orange Is the New Black), its stock price has soared (up 100% since late 2010), and for the first time it has more paying subscribers than HBO. But Netflix's encroachment doesn't seem to be cramping Bewkes's style these days: Time Warner stock has more than doubled in three years, and it is up 40% for the year, buoyed in part by the media giant's decision to spin off its Time Inc. publishing unit (Fortune's parent). Once he sheds Time Inc., Bewkes will be left with a more focused movie and television business, one that includes HBO. (He already hived off cable networks and AOL (AOL).) If Netflix is the Albanian army, Bewkes's Time Warner might well be the U.K. -- no longer a sprawling empire, but a prosperous place with a clearer sense of identity and purpose.

--A.L.

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