Juergen Schranz, 40
Senior director electrification for driveline systems, Magna Powertrain
Family:Wife, Michaela; sons, Kilian, 11, Markus, 9
Born: Graz, Austria
Languages: German, English
Education: Master's degree in mechanical engineering with emphasis on economics, Graz Technical University, Graz, Austria
What was your first automotive job and why were you interested in the industry?
I always felt a connection to cars because of their complexity. I really wanted to learn more about them and how everything worked in them. During my first automotive job I worked as a design engineer for transfer cases and axle drives.
Your greatest achievement?
My family is my greatest achievement. Without their backing, I would not be able to achieve so many things, including this award. Professionally it has been bringing Magna's first e-drive system in Europe into production on time.
What was your biggest failure and what did it teach you?
There was an instance at the very beginning of my career when I failed to speak up about a wrong decision that was made intentionally. That taught me it is always better to pull the cord when it needs to be pulled. Nothing gets better by itself.
What is your current challenge at work?
There are a lot of developments in the market right now. For me, it is currently all about anticipating the opportunities in the e-mobility area and picking the right product focus for my company.
What about the auto industry surprises you?
I am really amazed by the speed at which changes are taking place. This is a very competitive industry. Everybody is trying to find the right new solutions for the future.
What is the best advice you have ever received?
Never forget where you came from. I was also told to stay true to yourself.
What advice would you give to a person considering a career in the auto industry?
You have to be patient. Don't expect that you can plan what will happen within two years. Always be ready to accept new challenges. Sometimes finding solutions is a stretch but it can be done.
What job do you really want to have in the future?
I really hope my future job will continue to be challenging. I also would like to continue to have cross functional responsibility because it gives me the opportunity to work with a lot of people.
What do you do to relax?
I like to be athletic with my family during my free time. We play soccer, handball, go mountain biking and jogging. I also like to go sailing with my family.
What is your pet peeve?
I can't stand it when people lie.
What was your first car?
My first car was a Toyota Yaris.
A Land Rover Discovery.
If you were a car, which one would you be?
I would be a Land Rover Discovery. It covers a broad range of vehicle types and offers a lot of comfort. It can also be a workhorse when needed.
November 2017-present: Senior director electrification for driveline systems, Magna Powertrain, Lannach, Austria
January 2017-November 2017: Senior director program management driveline systems, Magna Powertrain, Lannach
2016: Senior director Getrag integration, Magna Powertrain, Untergruppenbach, Germany
2013-2015: General manager Lannach/Ilz, Magna Powertrain, Lannach, 2011-2012: Director program management, Magna Powertrain, Lannach
2008-2010: Assistant to the executive vice president, Magna Europe, Oberwaltersdorf, Austria