2010: Alan Mulally
CEO, Ford Motor Company
In our words: “The truth of the matter was hard to ascertain [during the 2009 Senate hearings] but it ‘s now obvious: Alan Mulally was, and is, worth whatever Ford is paying him, because he has almost single-handedly saved the automaker…The company is just beginning to find its way, but with Alan Mulally at the wheel, we’re confident it will soon not simply survive, but prosper.”
What happened next: Talk of his departure (on good terms, of course) hasn’t really dampened this affable CEO, especially as Ford’s successes continue to drag it out of the doldrums of the last decade. In 2012 Ford retained control of the blue oval again, one of the pieces of collateral put down in Mulally’s risky bankruptcy-avoiding loan agreement, and a symbol of Ford’s renaissance.