2017 AUTOMOTIVE NEWS EUROPE EUROSTAR AWARDS
CAR DIVISION CEO
Luca de Meo,
BASED: Barcelona, Spain
CAREER HIGHLIGHTS: De Meo was recruited by Volkswagen Group in 2009 to bring his marketing skills to an engineering-driven organization after helping to make the new Fiat 500 a success. He started his career at Renault, moving to Toyota and later serving as Fiat group's chief marketing officer as well as CEO of the Fiat, Alfa Romeo and Lancia brands. De Meo was appointed Seat president in 2015.
REASON FOR WINNING: De Meo has succeeded in making Seat, VW Group's former "problem child," profitable. The brand increased first-half operating profit 41 percent to 130 million euros year-on-year, after reporting a 143 million euro full-year profit in 2016. Seat returned to the black helped by its first SUV, the Ateca compact model. With the arrival two more SUVs, one this year and another in 2018, Seat's profitability is set to increase further.