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SHINICHI SASAKI, Executive vice president for global procurement, Toyota Motor Corp.

Sasaki, 64, faced a purchasing chief's nightmare when the March 11 earthquake and tsunami battered Japan. The disaster knocked out production of more than 1,200 parts -- shuttering all 18 of the Toyota Group's domestic assembly plants for weeks and forcing prolonged shutdowns overseas as well. Within the first month, he scrambled to narrow the at-risk parts list to 30 and got Toyota back on its feet quicker than expected.



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