Current position: President of Ford Asia Pacific and Africa
Career highlights: At Ford, Hinrichs has risen through manufacturing jobs, beginning as plant manager of the Van Dyke Transmission Plant in Sterling Heights, Mich., from 2000 to 2002.
After stints as director of manufacturing for vehicle operations, CEO of Ford Motor of Canada, vice president of vehicle operations, and vice president of North American manufacturing, he became group vice president of global manufacturing and labor affairs from 2007 to 2009.
Key accomplishments: CEO Alan Mulally pushed through an initiative to develop global vehicle platforms to accommodate various "top hats" around the world. Hinrichs had the massive task of retooling Ford's plants around the world to make that possible.
Hinrichs is leading Ford's aggressive expansion in Asia Pacific and Africa, where Ford projects that 60 to 70 percent of its global growth will take place this decade. Ford has a heavy launch schedule of new vehicles and powertrains in the region by 2015.
Why he'd be a candidate: He's smart, has a strong resume in manufacturing and labor and is tackling a top priority in his first non-North American position.
On the other hand: He doesn't have the years or depth of experience that Fields has. He could be in line after Fields.