Florence Bailleul, 45
Vice president & general manager, aftermarket EMEA Power Solutions, Johnson Controls
Family:Husband, Christian; son, Leonard, 3
Born: Lyon, France
Languages: French, English, Spanish
Education: Master's degree in business administration, Institut Superieur de Gestion, Paris, France; Business school leadership training, CEDEP – INSEAD, Fontainebleau, France
What was your first automotive job and why were you interested in the industry?
My first job in the automotive industry was at Valeo as group reporting manager. I was initially attracted to Valeo as a company and its finance department because of its strong reputation in France. It didn't take me long to discover my passion for the automotive industry, mainly because of the talented people I got to work with. Automotive is one of the world's most international industries and it offers great and diverse opportunities.
Your greatest achievement?
To have successfully transformed businesses both strategically and operationally. I'm proud of where I am today and to be receiving this award because I've had to balance a lot over the last three years. When I joined Johnson Controls in 2013, everything was new: the company, the automotive battery technology, as well as the country I moved to. My son was just 1 year old. It was an intense time for me. However, I'm pleased I took advantage of the opportunity because I enjoy transforming businesses strategically. I've also learned how much my family's support means to me.
What was your biggest failure and what did it teach you?
In a male-dominated industry, my role models were all male leaders. I tried to follow their way, but that didn't work for long. When I became a general manager, I recognized that I had to be true to my own values and embrace my own perspective.
What is your current challenge at work?
We see massive changes going on in the EMEA aftermarket and within the battery industry. At Johnson Controls, we are focused on helping our aftermarket customers prepare for the upcoming technology changes that will occur due to the massive adoption of start-stop systems. Also, I need to prepare and position my organization for new business models and requirements that are currently appearing on the market.
What about the auto industry surprises you?
The lack of women in management positions still surprises me.
What is the best advice you have ever received?
Speak frankly about what you want.
What advice would you give to a person considering a career in the auto industry?
Don't hesitate. Jump in. The automotive industry is full of innovation and is always in transition. For example, evolving urban mobility, autonomous vehicles and digital technology will drive new business models and offer significant opportunities.
If you were CEO of a company what would you do first?
I would develop and clearly communicate my vision to employees, customers and stakeholders.
What job do you really want to have in the future?
I want to continue participating in shaping the future of the automotive industry in a job where I can influence strategy and affect company results.
What do you do to relax?
Reading novels, walking, Pilates, and spending time with my son.
It was not a car but a motorbike. I drove a Honda Dominator.
Mercedes-Benz E class equipped with Johnson Controls's battery technology.
2013-present: Vice president & general manager for aftermarket EMEA, Johnson Controls Power Solutions, Hanover, Germany
2008-2013: General manager, Valeo Service Export, Paris, France
2006-2008: Business development director, Valeo Service, Paris
2002-2006: Strategy manager and market manager, Valeo, Paris
1998-2001: Financial controller, Valeo, Paris
1994-1998: Group reporting manager, Valeo, Paris