Vice president, sales & ownership experience, Tesla Motors Inc.
Chosen because: At Tesla, George Blankenship, 58, aims to do no less than overturn the traditional dealership model. Tesla stores are small, in busy shopping areas, stylish and, most important, factory-owned. Salespeople are there to answer questions about electric cars rather than push customers to buy them.
The unusual approach is easier to understand once you know Blankenship's background. Past jobs include vice president of retail strategy at Gap. Blankenship was also the brain behind Apple computer's retail store concept.
The jury is still out on whether the Tesla store model will prove effective -- or even legal. It faces challenges from assorted state franchise laws against company stores selling cars. Blankenship says the answer is to do the actual selling online.
Quote: "We are interacting with people who are not thinking about buying a car today. We are explaining electric transportation. We are carving a niche where we are informing and engaging with people."