In 2010, CEO Dan Akerson led General Motors through what was then the biggest IPO in history. Today, GM is focusing on selling cars abroad, with China being a key market. GM has roughly 15% market share in China now and has said it will introduce 17 refreshed models there in 2013. Though the carmaker predicts only modest growth in U.S. and China auto sales this coming year, it is making money. GM is still one of the most profitable companies in the Global 500, despite a 33% decrease in earnings in 2012, down from $9.1 billion in 2011 to $6.2 billion.
Meet these non-native Global 500 chief execs who have beaten the odds and climbed to the top of their org charts.