The maker of Mercedes Benz is trying to power through Europe's financial woes. Flat profits for 2012 were followed by a disastrous first quarter when the German luxury automaker posted a 60% drop in net income and lowered its 2013 forecast. Chief Dieter Zetsche expects results to improve later this year as a massive cost-cutting effort lifts Daimler's bottom line. A revamped flagship Mercedes S-Class hits U.S. showrooms this fall, but it faces stiff competition from market leader BMW and a newly revived Audi.
Meet these non-native Global 500 chief execs who have beaten the odds and climbed to the top of their org charts.