European Leading Women
Name: Tina Mueller
Title: Chief marketing officer, management board member
Company: Opel Group
Location: Ruesselsheim, Germany
Age: 47
Born: Bad Neuenahr, Germany
Nationality: German
Languages: German, English, French
Education: Master's degree in business administration from Jean Moulin University Lyon 3, Lyon, France

Tina Mueller

What attracted you to the auto industry?

I find the fact that the industry is in transformation exciting. Car manufacturers are currently changing into connected-mobility service providers. I was also attracted by the challenge of playing a part in the turnaround of a major European car brand.

First automotive job:

I was named Opel’s chief marketing officer in 2013 and later became a member of the company’s management board.

Have you ever taken a sabbatical and what did you do?

I took a year off between leaving my previous job at Henkel, a consumer goods company, and my current job at Opel. It gave me that chance to publish two books: “Why Products flop? The Cardinal Sins of Marketing” and “It Is Never Too Late To Stay Young,” which was a guide to preventing aging.

What is the major challenge you have faced in your career?

I would have to name two: Managing and developing a global cosmetic brand with a turnover of more than 1 billion euros and the turnaround of the Opel/Vauxhall brand.

Who has had the biggest influence on your career?

Initially my parents and then some of my former bosses who played a major role in mentoring my career.

What should be done to encourage women to enter the auto industry?

I believe more role models need to promote and support high-potential female talents. A stronger culture of diversity from the top down needs to be fostered and clear targets need to be set regarding the percentage of females in leadership positions.

What’s your favorite weekend activity?

On weekends I spend time with my family and friends.

What keeps you awake at night?

Opel’s turnaround.

If you could have dinner with anyone, living or dead, who would it be?

That’s a tough question, but I would have to say it would be the actress Romy Schneider.

If I had it to do all over again, I would ...

If I had it to do all over again, I would probably study medicine and try to prevent people from getting old and ill.

When and where was your last vacation?

I went to the German island of Sylt in the North Sea. 

Name one talent you wish you had.

I really wish I could play the piano better.

Best advice you’ve ever received?

Nothing is impossible.

What advice would you give your child?

I would tell them: Strengthen your strengths. 

If you were a car, what car would you be?

I would be a fully connected, autonomous electric car with a breath-taking design. In other words, it would be a wellness lounge on wheels. 

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