Lululemon CEO Day tops Google's Larry PageNovember 17, 2011: 3:59 PM ET
Since she arrived from Starbucks (SBUX) in 2008, Christine Day has done a remarkable job building Lululemon (LULU). Once just a retailer for yoga enthusiasts, Lululemon is now a fast-growing lifestyle brand. The stock has more than tripled in three years.
Day has never put herself in the spotlight, but Fortune's online readers clearly recognize how effective she is. The results of our just-released Businessperson of the Year poll show that Day trounced Groupon (GRPN) CEO Andrew Mason in the first round of voting. Second round, Day beat Coca-Cola (KO) CEO Muhtar Kent. Third round, Day earned more votes that Google (GOOG) CEO Larry Page.
Even she was surprised. Day wrote this to me in an email today: "We have been so busy with board prep and budget planning that I did not even know I was in the running until the third bracket! The Fortune Women's page is linked to my Facebook page. So when you posted my name, it showed up on my page. My daughter saw it and started a "vote for my Mom" campaign. I got her update in my e-mail...I about fell off my chair when I saw that I was in bracket 3 against Larry Page!"
Day lost to Amazon's (AMZN) Jeff Bezos in the fourth round. And who bested Bezos to be the No. 1 best Businessperson of the Year, according to our readers? Warren Buffett, who continues to expand Berkshire Hathaway (BRKA).
Meanwhile, Fortune's editors chose Starbucks' CEO Howard Schultz as the magazine's Businessperson of the Year. Read David Kaplan's terrific cover story here. Christine Day, by the way, started at Starbucks as Schultz's assistant. Over her 20 years there, she rose to head of the Asia-Pacific group. Nothing like learning from the master.