Robert Stempel, 71
Once a car guy, always a car guy. Stempel, a former Pontiac engineer, ran General Motors from 1990 to 1992 - rough times for the company. Like John Akers at IBM, he was fired for his company's woes. Now he's capitalizing on the booming hybrid-car industry as CEO of Detroit-based Energy Conversion Devices. ECD designs battery systems for the major automakers - among other things - so Stempel still gets to peek under lots of hoods. "Someone asked me if I missed the vroom-vroom," he says. "But when you feel the get-go from electric or hybrid cars, you get the same kind of excitement."