The 2000s certainly seem like a ghastly decade. The era's already fabled financial debacles -- among them, Enron's bankruptcy, the burst of the tech bubble, the collapse of a number of financial and lending institutions, and Madoff's ponzi scheme -- can inspire a certain cynicism about the merits and promise of business and entrepreneurship.
But at decade's end, we didn't want to forget about the companies and leaders that excelled during the boom and largely weathered the downturn.
We looked at a select group of elite CEOs from a wide range of industries, and plucked out who we think demonstrated the most exceptional leadership over the past ten years. Though our analysis is admittedly subjective, we also considered stock prices -- a five-year return, to be specific. And because last year's financial crisis has battered so many stocks, we also considered softer factors such as long-term vision, brand building, and what each CEO had to contend with when they took the helm.
Check out our list of the decade's most notable corporate leaders below -- and vote for your favorite. Or nominate your own pick.