Volkswagen group Chairman Bernd Pischetsrieder was named Manager of the Year by Wirtschaftswoche.
The German business magazine said Pischetsrieder is "cautiously and persistently" overcoming internal resistance to bring VW back on course.
Since his appointment as VW's head April 17, 2002, Pischetsrieder has worked to transform the group's slow-moving, old-fashioned corporate structure and roll back former chairman Ferdinand Piëch's premium-model strategy.
VW's core Volkswagen brand, hit by falling sales and fierce competition, has become a loss-maker but the VW group is still profitable thanks to its Audi brand and its thriving financial services business.
Pischetsrieder recruited former DaimlerChrysler executive Wolfgang Bernhard to lead the VW brand and hopes Chrysler's former No. 2 will accelerate change at the automaker.
Bernhard joins the VW board February 1. Less than a year later he will head the VW brand group, which also includes Skoda, Bentley and Bugatti.