Businessperson of the Year
John Thain turned a troubled, insular, and technophobic New York Stock Exchange (NYX) into a global giant that is shaking off archaic trading practices and expanding into broader trading arenas. This year, he completed his strategic overhaul of the NYSE with the bourse's acquisition of Euronext, a European exchange. The move abroad helped diversify the company geographically and gave the exchange a stake in fast-growing derivatives, as well as familiar stocks. Thain's work at NYSE impressed Merrill Lynch's (MER) board so much that it asked the onetime Goldman Sachs (GS) superstar to succeed Stanley O'Neal, a casualty of the subprime meltdown. Thain has already handpicked some NYSE lieutenants to join his Merrill fix-it job.