Marco Magnanini, 42
Head of commercial EMEA, Maserati
What was your first automotive job and why were you interested in the industry?
I started in international network development at Fiat. I was interested in the automotive industry because it is one of the most complex sectors. I continue to be thrilled by all phases of this business ranging from the strategic thinking that goes into creating a concept car to the customer experience that comes from the end product.
Born: San Jose, California, USA
Nationality: Italian and USA
Languages: Italian, English
Education: Bachelor’s degree in business administration with emphasis on marketing and finance, University of Modena, Italy
Your greatest achievement?
The creation and launch of the Abarth subbrand. This experience gave me the opportunity to learn how to design a 360-degree business model and manage all the vertical functions. Within five years we went for zero sales to 15,000. This experience helped me become, at 34, one of Fiat Chrysler’s youngest executive managers. Another big achievement was being part of the executive committee that created Maserati’s new product range strategy and its new brand positioning. This, along with the successful launch of the Levante SUV, has helped us extend our presence in the luxury segment around the world.
What was your biggest failure and what did it teach you?
Earlier in my career I had trouble retaining people and developing a long-term plan for them. Today I’m more focused on helping develop future leaders and helping them become part of the company’s bigger picture.
What is your current challenge at work?
Our industry is in the middle of a revolution, therefore it is crucial to create a solid plan to overcome all the new challenges. The changes are forcing us to develop a new understanding of what customer experience will be in the future. While digitalization, car-sharing and tougher CO2 regulation will impact the automotive business, my priorities will be to understand and enhance the meaning of a luxury experience.
What about the auto industry surprises you?
The red line between passion and business. You have to balance emotional brand values with the pressure to make a profit while maintaining a customer-centric approach in one of the most competitive sectors in the world. I’m also amazed how all the recent M&A activity is causing the industry to evolve and adapt.
2017-2018: Global head of certified pre-owned brand, Maserati, Modena
2016-2017: Global head of brand marketing operations, Maserati, Modena
2015-2016: Global chief marketing officer and head of product marketing and planning, Maserati, Modena
2013-2015: General manager and brand head for Abarth, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Turin, Italy
2012-2013: EMEA marketing director for Fiat 500 and head of new strategy initiative, Fiat, Turin
2011-2012: Europe commercial director, Maserati, Frankfurt, Germany
2008-2011: Startup director and worldwide launch coordinator launch for Abarth, Fiat Chrysler, Turin
2002-2007: Management roles with Alfa Romeo and Fiat, Bologna and Turin, Italy
What is the best advice you have ever received?
Listen, learn and lead.
What advice would you give to a person considering a career in the auto industry?
Be ready to put your mark on this industry. This will require you to challenge yourself and the status quo. Be proactive, authentic, curious and disciplined.
What job do you really want to have in the future?
I hope what I have learned during my professional journey will help me become a great CEO or chief operating officer of a luxury brand.
What do you do to relax?
I listen to different kinds of music. I also like to read as well as visit art and design shows.
What is your pet peeve?
I avoid being around people who lack authenticity and emotional intelligence. The only way to build a winning team is by filling it with people who have strong values and a real desire to make the world a better place.
What was your first car?
A Honda Civic that was formerly my mother’s car.
An Alfa Romeo Giulia Q4.
If you were a car, which one would you be?
A 1954 Maserati A6 GCS Berlinetta.