2014 ALL STAR | DESIGN
Chief Officer, Design Group, Toyota Motor Corp.
Tokuo Fukuichi, now 63, Toyota's contrarian global design chief, helped get Toyota-Lexus off the ho-hum list. He has injected pizazz into Lexus with its aggressive spindle grille and has spiced up Toyota with the likes of the head-turning FT-1 sports car concept.
His efforts were rewarded this year with a promotion to the board of directors, a first for any design chief at Toyota.
Fukuichi also was put in charge of Lexus as the luxury division's worldwide president, another first for an artsy design guy at a carmaker known for its button-down engineers and sales gurus. It's all testimony to his influence in getting the world's biggest carmaker to take design seriously.