Wendelin Wiedeking

CEO -- Porsche -- Germany

Few gave Wendelin Wiedeking much of a chance when the little-known engineer took over the reins of Germany's venerable Porsche in 1992. After all, the previous 15 years had seen a succession of CEOs who tried and failed to manage both the Porsche business and the fickle Porsche family that owns it. By the time Wiedeking came on the scene, years of poor decision-making had left Porsche adrift. Sales and profits had flagged. In 1992 alone, the group lost $130 million.

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