I strive every day to make sure the team I have is full of top talent and that I recognize and promote them so they remain challenged and motivated.
Q: What was your first automotive job and why were you interested in the industry?
A: I started as a management graduate trainee with Fiat Group in Turin after I finished university in 1990. My first job was as a manufacturing engineer specializing in just-in-time production for Fiat in 1991. I chose the automotive industry because I am a petrol head. I love cars, engines and racing. It is something passed down from my father who is also a big car enthusiast.
Q: GREATEST ACHIEVEMENT?
A: Establishing new capacity for Honeywell both internally and through extending the supply base in eastern Europe, India and China. We have grown rapidly and believe we have the right global footprint, with 50 percent of our manufacturing and sourcing in emerging markets. We have done this while simultaneously achieving world-class quality levels.
Q: BIGGEST FAILURE AND WHAT IT TAUGHT YOU?
A: During a major transition from one facility to another a few years ago, I did not put the best available talent I have on the project. The results were below expectations. It also took longer and it cost more than planned. The lesson I learned was to make sure you always put the top talent on the tough jobs to guarantee the best results.
Q: WHAT IS YOUR CURRENT CHALLENGE AT WORK?
A: The current challenge is the increasing fluctuation of customer demand, especially when it comes to the technology mix, which can change dramatically from week to week. Since I am in charge of the supply chain, I have to make sure we are agile and flexible enough to adjust.
Q: WHAT ABOUT THE AUTO INDUSTRY SURPRISED YOU?
A: If I look back at my early days, I would say the thing that surprised me most was the huge need for continuous change and improvement when it came to production and quality. Every year we strive to achieve better results despite new demands and challenges. It's a positive part of the industry. There is never a dull moment.
Q: WHAT IS THE BEST ADVICE YOU HAVE EVER RECEIVED?
A: The statement that I consider to be the best advice is, 'You're only as good as the people who work for you.' I strive every day to make sure the team I have is full of top talent and that I recognize and promote them so they remain challenged and motivated.
Q: WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO A PERSON CONSIDERING A CAREER IN THE AUTO INDUSTRY?
A: If you enjoy a fast pace of change and can work in a high-pressure, results-oriented environment, this is the best industry in the world.
Q: IF YOU WERE CEO OF A COMPANY WHAT WOULD YOU DO FIRST?
A: First, I would want to get to know my people – because they are my primary assets – and understand what they are good at, and then focus on products and processes.
Q: WHAT JOB DO YOU REALLY WANT TO HAVE IN THE FUTURE?
A: I would like to be CEO at an automotive business, most likely a supplier.
Q: WHAT DO YOU DO TO RELAX?
A: With a growing family, I enjoy spending time with my wife and my three children. We really like to go mountain biking together and camping is a favorite activity of ours. I also like to watch Formula One racing and I enjoy going to the track to race my own car when time allows.
Q: FIRST CAR?
A: A 1983 VW Golf GTI that I bought in 1987.
Q: CURRENT CARS?
A: Porsche 911 Carrera 4S Cabriolet, Porsche 911 Carrera Clubsport (for racing), Volvo XC60, Land Rover Defender.