What was your first automotive job and why were you interested in the industry?
My first automotive job was as a project controller in the central controlling department at Magna Steyr in Graz, Austria. I was attracted to the automotive sector because I found the products, technologies and the global nature of this industry fascinating. That fascination continues today.
What was your big break?
My big break was finalizing the contract with Hyundai WIA for a production joint venture in South Korea and joining the newly founded company as vice president responsible for the Magna side of the business. I got to be part of a great international team to start up a new production facility that helped launch a new product.
Your greatest achievement?
The signing of the Jaguar manufacturing agreement with Magna Steyr. I was intimately involved in this project from the beginning. Winning this new customer represented a big milestone for the company and all the employees.
What was your biggest failure and what did it teach you?
There was one instance when I didn’t speak up when I should have. I learned that a company won’t be able to advance and grow with a yes man.
What is your current challenge at work?
My team has to be a reliable business partner in this fast-paced industry. This means understanding the dynamics while carefully balancing risks and opportunities to remain competitive in the future.
What about the auto industry surprises you?
There is such a tremendous increase in digital technology -- and it has only just begun.
What is the best advice you have ever received?
Don’t take yourself too seriously, and, nobody is irreplaceable.
What advice would you give to a person considering a career in the auto industry?
Be open-minded when it comes to new challenges. Take on these challenges pragmatically and be ready to work anywhere in the world.
If you were CEO of a company, what would you do first?
I would first analyze the company in terms of its workforce, position in the market and assets. Then I would listen to the employees so I could then decide on our next milestones.
What job do you really want to have in the future?
I want to continue to have a job where I’m constantly challenged and I can positively contribute to the company and its employees.
What do you do to relax?
I like to go for a run or play soccer. I also really enjoy spending time with my family.
What is your pet peeve?
I really don’t care for dishonest people.
What was your first car?
A VW Golf.
A BMW X3.
If you were a car, which one would you be?
I can’t think of a specific car. However, I would want to be the type of car that’s most suitable for the terrain and can deal with any challenges ahead.
2013-present: Global director finance & controlling, Magna Steyr, Graz, Austria
2010-2012: Head of controlling for strategic projects, Magna Steyr, Graz
2008-2010: Joint representative director (VP), WIA Magna Powertrain, Asan City (Chungcheongnam-do), South Korea
2008: Assistant to the board, M&A, Magna Powertrain, Oberwaltersdorf, Austria