European Leading Women
Name: Linda Jackson
Title: CEO of Citroen brand
Company: PSA Group
Location: Paris, France
Age: 57
Family: Widow; stepson, Adrian, 42; stepdaughter, Charlotte, 40; three grandchildren
Born: Coventry, England
Nationality: British
Languages: English, French
Education: MBA from Warwick University, Coventry, England

Linda Jackson

What attracted you to the auto industry? 

I like the actual product. Cars offer a close link to the end customer and you find a variety of career opportunities in this industry.

First automotive job: 

I started at Jaguar in 1977 as an accounting clerk.

What was your big break? 

My big break came when I was named finance director of Rover in France in 1998. But I would add that I have enjoyed a gradual move up the career  ladder and that my MBA helped to widen my professional view.

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

I’m facing my major challenges in my current position as we at Citroen work hard to successfully re-position our brand. These are all positive challenges that provide great opportunities.

Who has had the biggest influence on your career? 

That would be my late husband. He offered me moral support, gave me confidence and was my sounding board.

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

It would help if the career opportunities the automotive world has to offer women were more widely known and more frequently talked about. These opportunities range from engineering to marketing and sales and beyond. Creating flexible working practices and highlighting women role models would also be beneficial.

What’s your favorite weekend activity? 

I truly enjoy going to my house in Normandy, France, to relax.

What keeps you awake at night? 

Nothing.

Name one thing about yourself that most people don’t know

I am a qualified ballet dance teacher.

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

I would meet with Andre Citroen. He was an amazing character and a visionary who was way ahead of his time. It would be great to tell him about what we are doing with the Citroen brand today and to discuss ideas with him. I do hope he would approve.

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

Do the same. I appreciate how my career has progressed. It has enabled me to thoroughly learn all about the business.

When and where was your last vacation? 

I went to New York with my stepdaughter in February.

Name one talent you wish you had. 

I would love to be able to play the piano.

Best advice you’ve ever received?  

Believe in yourself, and, always treat others as you would want to be treated yourself.

What advice would you give your child?

Be yourself and believe in yourself. Life is too short not to do so 

If you were a car, what car would you be

I would either be a Citroen SM, which was built in the 1970s featuring a sleek and beautiful design that was ahead of its time, or a C4 Cactus because it’s daring to be different from the rest.

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