Exec ranks as a Fortune ‘Businessperson of the Year’


Matthew Missad. Courtesy Universal Forest Products

Fortune has recognized a Grand Rapids businessman on its “Businessperson of the Year” ranking.

Universal Forest Products CEO Matthew Missad is one of 50 businesspeople to be recognized on the annual ranking posted by Fortune yesterday.

Missad ranks No. 45.

Fortune acknowledges Missad’s history with the company and his success as CEO in its recognition.

Missad joined Universal Forest while he was still in high school, as part of the company’s maintenance team.

Today, he is “leading the company to unprecedented heights,” Fortune says, which notes Universal Forest reported the “best third-quarter results in its history,” and its “profits over the past 12 months, according to S&P CapitalIQ, are three times what they were just three years ago.”

Executive company

Missad is in the company of other executives at industry-leading companies: Nike’s Mark Parker, who ranks No. 1; Apple’s Tim Cook, who ranks No. 4; Larry Page of Alphabet, Google’s holding company, who ranks No. 11; and Priceline’s Darren Huston, who ranks No. 44.

“A surprise”

William Currie, Universal Forest chairman, called Missad’s recognition “well-earned” and said it’s a testimony to “his strong leadership and to the success of the corporation.”

Missad called the recognition “a surprise and an honor.”

He said the company’s success should be attributed not only to him, but also to its management team, board and employees.


Fortune’s ranking is based on a company’s “ability to generate cold, hard cash.”

Fortune said it weighed 10 metrics to come up with the ranking, with 12- and 36-month increases in profits and revenues at the core of the analysis to provide a longer-term picture of each company’s success.

The media outlet also factored in stock performance, total shareholder returns and ratio of debt to capital, as well as non-financial elements, such as business influence, leadership style and strategic initiatives.

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