Last year, Shell held the number one spot on the Fortune Global 500 list and was pushing to drill in the Arctic. This past March, the U.S. government blocked the company from drilling until it can provide a more convincing plan for exploring the region. The company has also paused another risky endeavor -- one of its pipelines in Nigeria that caught fire this summer. Shell shut it down and began investigating the cause of the fire in late June.
Shell, however, remains strong. Its earnings for the first quarter of 2013 beat analyst expectations. Despite problems with certain drilling projects, the company continues to rake in money from various assets, one of which is its profitable Pearl gas-to-liquid plant in Qatar.
Meet these non-native Global 500 chief execs who have beaten the odds and climbed to the top of their org charts.