Bernhard Maier, 58
BASED: Mlada Boleslav, Czech Republic
CAREER HIGHLIGHTSMaier trained as an apprentice mechanic but found his niche in sales and marketing, first as an executive with BMW, then at Porsche starting in 2001 as the automaker's managing director for Germany. In 2010, he took over global responsibility for Porsche's sales and marketing. Maier joined Skoda as CEO in November 2015.
REASON FOR WINNINGUnder Maier Skoda continues to be a profit powerhouse as it smashes sales records. Last year's operating profit margin of 9.7 percent on sales of 1.2 million cars was second only to Porsche among parent Volkswagen Group's car brands. First-half revenue passed 9 billion euros for the first time, with sales up 12 percent. This year Maier oversaw Skoda's launch of its first China-dedicated model, the Kamiq SUV, and announced the brand would take the lead for VW Group in India.