Fritz Henderson, President & CEO, GM
When Henderson was promoted to president and chief operating officer in March 2008, it was a clear statement from Rick Wagoner that his successor had been chosen. What Wagoner couldn't have known was that it would be only a year before he'd be kicked to the curb by the Obama administration and Henderson would succeed Wagoner as CEO. Henderson has headed General Motors operations in Asia, South America, and Europe, where he championed a major restructuring through workforce reductions. Shaping up GM's entire global operations, though, will certainly be his most challenging chore yet.