As far as automaker CEOs go, few have had more seemingly impossible jobs than Alan Mulally and Sergio Marchionne, the leaders of Ford and Chrysler, respectively, who have managed to turn years or red ink into profitability more recently. The auto industry CEO who is arguably facing the most extraordinary challenges right now may very well be Trogen, who helms the Chinese-Japanese investment group called National Electric Vehicle Sweden AB, which bought the bankrupt Saab brand in June. The Swedish automaker has been in a freefall in recent years, selling 31,700 in 2010, after 133,000 deliveries as recently as 2006. In March 2011, production of Saabs was halted, and the brand was presumed to be dead. The plan for Saab Auto now is to reinvent the operation as “a world-leading company for electric cars,” a field in which GM, Toyota, Nissan, Fisker Automotive, and other automakers already have a considerable headstart.
- Tough Leaders for Tough Times
- Marissa Mayer, Yahoo!
- Ron Johnson, JCPenney
- Thorstein Heins, Research In Motion
- Wayne Sales, Supervalu
- John Maguire, Friendly’s
- Louis D’Ambrosio, Sears
- Donald Layton, Freddie Mac
- Karl-Erling Trogen, National Electric Vehicle Sweden AB
- Patrick Donahoe, U.S. Postal Service
- ?, Best Buy