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1. Akio Toyoda
1. Akio Toyoda
Company: Toyota Motor
Country: Japan
Title: CEO
Age: 55

Toyoda presides over Asia's largest company -- and perhaps its most influential. When Toyota Motor stumbles, as it did in 2010 when safety problems forced the company to recall several of its bestselling models, millions of consumers around the world feel the impact. And when it innovates, the rest of the auto world takes notice -- and often follows suit. So 14 years after the arrival of the Prius, Toyoda is pushing the company to produce a lineup of 10 new hybrid models by 2015. He's also keenly focused on growing in emerging markets such as China and India, which account for 40% of Toyota's $223 billion in annual sales. Toyoda, who has been CEO for two years, has already shown he's powerful; he survived the recall scandal despite speculation that he would be pushed to resign. Now shareholders hope he can steer the auto giant -- safely -- to more growth.

--Rupali Arora



NEXT: 2. Ratan Tata
Last updated April 19 2011: 5:21 AM ET
If it catches on, Tata's Nano will have a far greater impact on society than any sports car, and Ratan Tata could be remembered as the Henry Ford of India. More
The Chinese government is banning the word 'luxury' from advertisements in Beijing, but it's not trying to slow down its consumerism push. More
Auret van Heerden, CEO of the Fair Labor Association, discusses the rising labor costs in China and other developing nations, and when the jobs will come back to the U.S. More
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