JOHN ESPOSITO, 61
Chairman/CEO, Warner Music Nashville
Last Year’s Rank: 63
When Esposito first took the reins in September 2009, the Punxsutawney, Pa., native placed a risky bet on Blake Shelton, whose album sales were at an eight-year low. More than seven years later, the Voice coach scored 2016’s No. 2-selling country release with If I’m Honest (540,000 units). “His life story had to be told, and it was good for the business,” says Esposito, whose move to combine radio and streaming departments has already generated hits for Brett Eldredge, Dan & Shay and Cole Swindell.
Business Leader He Admires: Pittsburgh Steelers owner Dan Rooney, whose team has “more Super Bowl wins than any other.”