David Oliveira, 43
Deputy vice president advanced sales and marketing, Faurecia
Family:Partner, Kristel; twin boys, Alexis and Matteo, 13
Born: Paris, France
Languages: French, English, some Spanish
Education: Master's degree in business, HEC, Paris, France; master's degree in mechanical engineering, Supmeca, Paris, France
What was your first automotive job and why were you interested in the industry?
I started as a development engineer. I've been interested in the automotive world for as long as I can remember. It is a fascinating, truly global, dynamic and challenging industry.
Your greatest achievement?
It was the turnaround of an account I was placed in charge of. When I was assigned the job, the business had gone stale for different reasons. The team was exhausted and had very low expectations for the future. At the same time, the customer was growing rapidly. We began by turning around the operational performance. We focused on a customer-centric approach, provided solutions and brought valued proposals to all business areas. We gradually gained back the customer's respect and trust. We have since shared many successes.
What was your biggest failure and what did it teach you?
When talented people left my team, I felt like I missed something. It reminded me that talent management is key.
What is your current challenge at work?
My new challenges include playing an active part in the transformation of the company. I have to anticipate new mobility trends by creating value for our customers and enhancing end-user experiences. I must also push for agility and innovation to achieve a faster time to market.
What about the auto industry surprises you?
The automotive industry is at a turning point. It's going through a revolution with highly disruptive breakthrough technologies around connectivity and new mobility trends. This is introducing new players and game changers to the sector. All this is pushing the industry to a new level. This will radically affect our driving experience and add exciting new challenges. It will keep this industry on the cutting edge and thus make it a benchmark for many other industries.
What is the best advice you have ever received?
Rely on your intuition. That's especially important when your initial feeling isn't good.
What advice would you give to a person considering a career in the auto industry?
Be passionate, resilient, never stop learning and embrace the industry's revolution. But also have fun.
What job do you really want to have in the future?
I would like to continue working in a challenging job where I keep learning by being actively involved. I want to help shape the company's transformation, strengthen relationships with automakers and new mobility players and push our innovative solutions.
What do you do to relax?
I'm an ultrarunner. I run 80 km and more in the mountains. You accept the physical and mental challenges that come with this sport and push yourself to the limit. When you spend more than 20 hours on the trails, it can be a very introspective journey.
What is your pet peeve?
Lack of ethics and equality.
What was your first car?
My brother and I bought a 1958 VW Beetle, which we completely refurbished.
My company car is a Volvo V60.
If you were a car, which one would you be?
I would probably be a vintage vehicle such as a first-generation Porsche 911.
2018-present: Deputy vice president advanced sales and marketing, Faurecia Interior Systems, Meru, France
2015-2018: Group key account manager and global account director, Faurecia, Meru
2013-2015: Jaguar Land Rover and Volvo division director, Faurecia Interior Systems, Meru
2010-2013: Customer business unit director for Volvo, Faurecia Interior Systems, Meru
2004-2009: Senior program manager, Faurecia Interior Systems, Meru
2002-2004: Program sales leader, Faurecia Interior Systems, Cologne, Germany
2000-2002: Development engineer, Faurecia Interior Systems, Meru
1999-2000: CAE engineer, Dassault, Saint Cloud, France