Mathieu Devillard, 37
Customer business unit director, Faurecia
Family:Wife, Miyuki; sons, Natsuki, 7, Kayto, 6
Born: Vitry-le-Francois, France
Languages: French, English
Education: Master's degree in mechanical engineering, University of Delaware, Newark, Delaware, USA; Bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering, Ecoles des Mines de Douai, Douai, France; working on MBA from INSEAD Business School, Fontainebleau, France
What was your first automotive job and why were you interested in the industry?
I have been interested in the automotive world for as long as I can remember. It has evolved from the fun I had playing with my favorite toy car to the joy I felt attending my first Paris auto show to excitement of starting my first overseas internship at Owens Corning's automotive operation in the U.S. state of Ohio. That all has led me to where I am today: working in a fascinating industry where I meet people, take on challenges and manage international programs in a highly enriching, multicultural and fast-paced environment.
Your greatest achievement?
That has to be being a part of the creation and development of the Faurecia Howa Interiors joint venture. This joint venture, which is supported by Nissan, brings together a Japanese supplier that is knowledgeable about Nissan's ways with a global European supplier that works to support Nissan's worldwide expansion. In the automotive industry, many previous attempts to do something like this failed dramatically because of operational challenges and cultural misunderstandings. However, over the last six years, Faurecia Howa Interiors has evolved into a profitable and sustainable business with worldwide programs developed in Japan and produced globally. Cultural differences are embraced. The JV's focus on customer satisfaction and entrepreneurial spirit has further enhanced success, making this the most fulfilling undertaking I have had so far at Faurecia.
What was your biggest failure and what did it teach you?
The loss of my first request for quote bid as a sales manager. This experience taught me that the outcome is the result of skill and opportunity. However, skills must be worked on and opportunities must be found despite challenges.
What is your current challenge at work?
Remaining completely focused on achieving day-to-day operational excellence to meet today's high customer satisfaction expectations while continuing to dream up ways to shape the automobile of tomorrow, which will be connected, automated and produce zero emissions.
What about the auto industry surprises you?
It always amazes me that nearly 100 million vehicles are produced every year.
What is the best advice you have ever received?
You can learn from anyone.
What advice would you give to a person considering a career in the auto industry?
Think about what you would like the car of tomorrow to be. Then be bold enough to come join the industry and make it a reality.
If you were CEO of a company, what would you do first?
Initially, I would meet with and listen to the key stakeholders. That includes the team, the shareholders and customers. From there, I would create a vision and share it with everyone. This would allow everyone to proactively work toward the same goal.
What job do you really want to have in the future?
I would like to continue to work in a job that keeps me challenged and allowed me the change to keep learning.
What do you do to relax?
Spending time with my family, especially when we can be active and outdoors.
A Renault Twingo.
If you were a car, which one would you be?
I would like to be Zoe, Renault's electric subcompact. It's got great range, style and it is an example of the way we will drive in the future.
2015-present: Customer business unit director for Renault-Nissan and Toyota, Faurecia, Meru, France
2013-2015: Global program director for Japan, Korea, India and Thailand, Faurecia Japan, Tokyo, Japan
2011-2013: Global program manager, Faurecia Japan, Tokyo
2008-2011: Sales & business development manager, Faurecia, Meru, France