Stay sharp, be authentic and dare to lead. Motivate your team because it's their success you're depending on. ... And never, never ever spend a day without laughter.
Q: What was your first automotive job and why were you interested in the industry?
A: I started with Mercedes-Benz as a trainee in 1995. I considered a career in consulting and investment banking but decided that automotive was the most attractive industry for me.
Q: GREATEST ACHIEVEMENT?
A: My family.
Q: BIGGEST FAILURE AND WHAT IT TAUGHT YOU?
A: There are little failures every day, however, I believe in just making things better the next time. Even if this sounds pathetic, I find it to be true: Those who don't act, don't fail.
Q: WHAT ABOUT THE AUTO INDUSTRY SURPRISED YOU?
A: That there are still so many archaic structures and processes in place that are in total contrast to the modern sales and marketing of consumer goods. In this area, the industry is remarkably slow and resistant to change.
Q: WHAT IS YOUR CURRENT CHALLENGE AT WORK?
A: My team and I are working hard to return Mercedes-Benz Cars to No. 1 in French premium-car sales.
Q: WHAT IS THE BEST ADVICE YOU HAVE EVER RECEIVED?
A: "Dig dirt first." This comes from one of my first mentors. And I received this from another wise boss: "During the week you're mine, but the weekends are for family and friends."
Q: WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO A PERSON CONSIDERING A CAREER IN THE AUTO INDUSTRY?
A: Stay sharp, be authentic and dare to lead. Motivate your team because it's their success you're depending on. Never accept the following phrases: We've always done it that way; our market/department/whatever is different; you're asking for too much, too soon. And never, never ever spend a day without laughter.
Q: IF YOU WERE CEO OF A COMPANY WHAT WOULD YOU DO FIRST?
A: Smile. Meet the people. Start working.
Q: WHAT JOB DO YOU REALLY WANT TO HAVE IN THE FUTURE?
A: One with a great team, eager to win, with a great challenge to tackle. In short, pretty much what I've already had the chance to do during the last assignments.
Q: WHAT DO YOU DO TO RELAX?
A: What makes you think I'm stressed?
Q: FIRST CAR?
A: Big Bobbycar.
Q: CURRENT CARS?
A: I change cars regularly so I get to enjoy all of the Mercedes and Smart products.