Vice president, manufacturing, Tesla Motors Inc.
Chosen because: It is clear from reading Gilbert Passin's Tesla blog that he is a traditional manufacturing guy. By hiring Passin, 51, in February 2010, Tesla was confirming that making an electric vehicle requires many of the same skills as producing a traditional car. Passin's challenge is to build the Model S EV sedan in the former New United Motor Manufacturing Inc. plant in Fremont, Calif. His experience as manufacturing chief at Toyota's plant in Cambridge, Ontario, where he launched production of the Lexus RX 350, may help.
Quote: "You have to understand, with a fraction of the cost of what others would spend, and a fraction of the time, and a fraction of the resources, we are trying to do something really kick-ass." From Fast Company, "Why Tesla Motors is Betting on the Model S," March 19, 2012