Siegfried Buelow, 65
Former Chairman of Leipzig plant, Porsche
TITLE: Former Chairman of Leipzig plant
BASED: Leipzig, Germany
CAREER HIGHLIGHTS: Buelow once managed the East German car plant that built Barkas transporters in Chemnitz, then called Karl-Marx-Stadt. After German reunification, he was forced to let go of 2,300 employees, including his own father, and sell the remaining assets. Following a brief stint at Volkswagen managing the paint shop in Wolfsburg, Buelow returned to his home state of Saxony. Here he built from scratch Porsche's Leipzig manufacturing plant. He retired in July.
REASON FOR WINNING: Under Buelow's guidance, Porsche's Leipzig factory has been a model of success. The sports car maker recently expanded the plant as part of a 500 million euro upgrade. The investment has paid off as the factory, which produces the Panamera and Macan and does final assembly for the Cayenne, was named J.D. Power's top-ranking plant in Europe for assembly quality this summer. During Buelow's 17 years at the plant he expanded a 300-person production team into a company of more than 4,000 employees.