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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
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