49. Carlos Ghosn
49. Carlos Ghosn
Chairman and CEO, Nissan Motor

With the launch of the Leaf last December, Nissan grabbed pole position in the race to develop all-electric vehicles for the mass consumer market. Leaf sales have been puny so far, but Brazilian-born automotive superstar Ghosn has several other all-electric models in the works at Nissan and its alliance partner Renault, which he also runs. Nissan posted strong results this year, boosting sales by 9.3% and profits by 79.7%. That's an impressive feat given the earthquake and tsunami in Japan last March, which seriously disrupted Nissan's supply chain.

By Richard McGill Murphy, contributor @FortuneMagazine - Last updated November 17 2011: 5:58 PM ET
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