Manufacturing: ATSUSHI NIIMI, Executive vice president, Toyota Motor Corp.

Atsushi Niimi

Last year's earthquake and tsunami left Toyota Motor Corp.'s factories and network of 650 suppliers in shambles. Atsushi Niimi, 65, orchestrated a dramatic triage effort, dispatching workers from stilled Toyota factories to help key suppliers such as chip manufacturer Renesas get running again.

The result: Production returned to full speed months before Toyota's initial targets. Since then, Toyota is on pace to hit record high output in North America, and is eyeing an industry record by producing 10 million vehicles globally for the fiscal year that ends March 31.

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