CEO, Home Depot
Even before Hurricane Sandy wreaked havoc across the northeastern U.S., sending millions scurrying to their local Home Depots for flashlights and generators, the big-box company was back in a big way. Under the leadership of CEO Blake, the stock is at a 12-year high, up 46% for the year. A rebound in homebuilding has helped, but real credit goes to Blake for putting the brakes on growth. He abandoned China this year after he realized how hard it would be to crack the local distribution market, and instead of opening new U.S. stores, he is focused on improving Home Depot's (Fortune 500) online arm, which topped $1 billion in sales this year. --Jennifer Reingold ,
He's a pro-customer, tightfisted risk-taker who is conditioning Wall Street to embrace his erratic earnings. If you're running a business with high margins - watch out.