Schultz is Fortune Businessperson of the Year

New York: Starbucks Founder and CEO Howard Schultz has been named the `2011 Businessperson of the Year` by Fortune magazine. Schultz pips the likes of Facebook Founder Mark Zuckerberg and Apple CEO Tim Cook for the top honours.

The only Indian in the runners-up list is Ajay Banga, President and CEO, MasterCard, who is ranked at No 11. Banga, who has had a "stellar" career at Citigroup, took the top job at Mastercard last year.

"Today about a third of the world`s credit cards bear the MasterCard brand, making it the second biggest card network after Visa. MasterCard has perhaps the strongest brand in its sector and its stock price is up 49.5 per cent in the past year," Fortune said.

Fortune said it selected Schultz for the top honours for taking the company to new heights by posting record revenues and profits. "Schultz distinguished himself in another way in 2011, taking steps to raise funds for job creation and to fight political dysfunction in Washington. The White House paid attention," the magazine said.

The first runner up is Jeffrey Bezos, Founder and CEO of Amazon, which has had a "blowout year, capped by the release of the Kindle Fire".

"Bezos stands out as an engaged, shareholder-friendly CEO who owns 20 per cent of the company but collects a small salary and no bonus. Amazon`s international prospects seem bright given that more than half of all Internet users are now in developing markets," it said.