Purchasing: BOB SOCIA, Vice president of global purchasing and supply chain, General Motors
Before his reassignment in September to run General Motors' China operations, Bob Socia did heavy lifting to repair supplier relations that were among the industry's worst. In this year's closely watched ranking of automakers' supplier relations by Planning Perspectives Inc., released in May, GM received its highest-ever ranking. Its standing improved every year since 2009 -- when Socia took the purchasing post. Socia, 58, won praise from suppliers for improved transparency, especially of GM's production schedules, and for giving suppliers better access to GM purchasing managers.