Guglielmo Fiocchi, 51
BASED: Milan, Italy
CAREER HIGHLIGHTS: Joined Italy's Sogefi as general manager in 2012 and added the title of CEO a year later. After earning a degree in aeronautical engineering from Milan Polytechnic, he spent two years working on airplanes before moving to Italian tire maker Pirelli. During two stints that covered 25 years, he held top-level jobs including CEO of Pirelli Tyre Germany and chairman of Pirelli Romania.
REASON FOR WINNING:Rather than react to a European market slowdown with cost cuts, Fiocchi pushed Sogefi to keep investing in its innovative glass fiber reinforced polymer coil springs. The result is a product that helps reduce vehicle weight by up to 6kg, which helps cut CO2 by up to 0.5 grams per kilometer, compared with traditional steel springs. Audi will debut the springs on the revised A6 range this month.