President, Honda Motor Company
In our words: “Honda’s steadfast refusal to follow the herd once looked stubborn but now appears prescient. In an era when platinum-paid executives rarely deviate from the orthodoxy of the crowd, Honda’s Takeo Fukui has successfully avoided faddish trends and instead stayed true to the founding principles of Soichiro Honda and his successors. For that, [Fukui] is the 2009 Automobile Magazine Man of the Year.”
What happened next: Fukui became a Director and Advisor to Honda, a position he holds to this day.