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BILL KRUEGER, Vice chairman, Nissan Americas

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The March earthquake in Japan came at a nasty moment for Krueger, who was then Nissan Americas' senior vice president for manufacturing, purchasing, supply chain management and total customer satisfaction. Krueger, 46, is simultaneously overseeing a $1.6 billion project to mass-produce the electric Nissan Leaf and its battery modules in Smyrna, Tenn.; adding a new Infiniti model and relocating the Japan-made Nissan Rogue to Smyrna; re-sourcing parts from Japan to North America; and introducing a new small-car platform and compact commercial van into Nissan's Mexican plants.

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