CEO and Executive Director, Great Wall Motor, 46
As China’s economy decelerated, Wang—China’s highest-paid auto CEO—pounced on the middle-class’ eagerness to trade sedans for SUVS at a time of rock-bottom oil prices. After setting up Great Wall Motors’ premium SUV brand, Haval, as a standalone brand in 2013, Wang masterminded Haval’s “Red and Blue” strategy—targeting families with the ‘red logo’ sport SUVs, and younger, trendy drivers with ‘blue logo’ city SUVs. Haval’s runaway success has saved Great Wall’s now-slumping sedan sales: net sales in 2015 grew 19% to $11.64 billion. Wang joined the company in 1991, just as Great Wall was transitioning from a small village-owned agricultural vehicle factory into a private carmaker, and became CEO in 2002.