Monica Genovese, 45
Global head of body and raw materials purchasing unit, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles
Family:Husband, Gioacchino; son, Matteo 11; daughter, Federica, 7
Born: Milazzo, Italy
Languages: Italian, English
Education: Master's degree in electronic engineering, Polytechnic University of Turin, Turin, Italy
What was your first automotive job and why were you interested in the industry?
I didn't know much about the automotive industry when I attended university where I focused on communication engineering. After I graduated I interviewed with Fiat and soon discovered how complex and competitive the automotive industry was. I was immediately attracted to this. A few months later I began working at Fiat's plant in Melfi, Italy, where I was in charge of one of the seven work units in the body-in-white workshop.
Your greatest achievement?
I am proud to have implemented world class logistic activities within the FCA parts supply chain area. The biggest challenge was to adapt the consolidated world class manufacturing concept to the parts warehouse and distribution operations. We have established a continuous improvement culture within the organization and along the supply chain, resulting in better aftersales customer satisfaction and lower supply chain costs.
What was your biggest failure and what did it teach you?
When I first started to take on global responsibilities, I initially approached people in the different regions in the same way I would my Italian team. This didn't go over well and made it more difficult to reach our targets. It took me some time, but I was able to make things right. This taught me the importance of understanding and valuing cultural differences, which helped make me a better manager.
What is your current challenge at work?
I work with a global team that manages commodity strategies and works to ensure consistent supplier relationships across all regions. We have to guarantee a fast and effective sourcing process to maximize value by basing our sourcing decisions on quality first and a total life cycle cost approach.
What about the auto industry surprises you?
It's an industry that never stops in terms of technological evolution. Complexity is continuously added to the cars to help simplify people's lives. The daily challenge is to keep a competitive advantage in this difficult environment.
What is the best advice you have ever received?
Charles Darwin said: "It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change." This is certainly also true for the auto industry.
What advice would you give to a person considering a career in the auto industry?
Get a wide perspective of the industry from the supply of components to the car's end customer. Always make a contribution to the quality and competitiveness of the cars you are working on, regardless of the job or the responsibilities you have. Never give up.
If you were CEO of a company what would you do first?
First, I would invest in people. I would try to develop the right mix of technical expertise and leadership and create an environment that fosters good communication, creativity and performance. This approach has served me well throughout my career.
What job do you really want to have in the future?
I have gained a lot of experience in purchasing and supply chain operations. I would like to take on new challenges in these areas.
What do you do to relax?
To me, there is nothing more relaxing than traveling and visiting new places with my husband and two children. I love spending my free time with my family.
Alfa Romeo Alfasud.
2016–present: Global head of body and raw materials purchasing unit, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Turin, Italy
2015-2016: Global head of metallic commodity purchasing, FCA, Turin
2014-2015: Global head of Mopar purchasing, FCA, Volvera, Italy
2011-2014: Head of EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) parts supply chain operations and purchasing, Fiat Group Automobiles, Volvera
2008-2011: Parts supply chain operations director for Europe and Latin America, FGA Parts & Services, Volvera, and CNH Parts & Service, Le Plessis, France
2006-2008: Parts supply chain operations manager for Europe, Fiat, Volvera
2005-2006: Manufacturing project manager, Fiat, Turin
2003-2005: Italy purchasing manager for direct and indirect material, GM-Fiat Worldwide Purchasing, Turin
1998-2002: Buyer and purchasing commodity manager, GM-Fiat WWP, Turin
1995-1997: In charge of a work unit within the body-in-white workshop at Melfi plant, Fiat, Melfi, Italy