Andrea Kollmorgen, 39
VP, head of connected eMobility, Siemens
What was your first automotive job and why were you interested in the industry?
My current position. However, the scope was smaller. I was working within a strategy team that looked into the future of mobility and the possible role Siemens could play as a partner to automotive customers in the areas of eMobility and digital urban mobility. It was love at first sight. I liked that the game’s fundamental rules were changing transportation in nearly every way. It presented the opportunity to shape a new future of mobility that combines the rich history of automotive with technological innovation. These applications bring massive changes in societal behavior. It was too challenging to resist.
Born: Norfolk, Virginia, USA
Languages: English, Germanh
Education: MBA, ESADE Business School, Barcelona, Spain; bachelor’s degrees in international economics and political science, University of North Carolina-Charlotte, Charlotte, North Carolina, USA
Your greatest achievement?
Transforming a strategy project that centered on creating an EV charging infrastructure into one of 14 innovation fields defined by the management board. In addition, I was appointed to lead the initiative. This provided me with the opportunity to consolidate and motivate an extensive indirect network within Siemens that had already been working passionately on smaller elements of our big-picture solutions for an autonomous, connected, electric and shared automotive future.
What was your biggest failure and what did it teach you?
I should have left my job as a subprime investment analyst sooner. The 2008 global financial crisis took a great toll on the physical and mental health of my colleagues, my friends and myself. Although I learned a lot from that difficult time, staying in that field wasn’t worth any amount of money or prestige. I moved to Europe in 2010 to start a more rewarding career that gave me the opportunity to make an impact and add real value.
What is your current challenge at work?
Innovation often challenges the old order. Right now, there are so many opportunities to integrate new technologies such as machine learning, autonomous systems or digital twins and simulation in order to develop a new technological advancement or serve as the answer to a real-world problem. However, when innovative solutions challenge this old order it’s often not easy to succeed or find support right away.
What is the best advice you have ever received?
I was once told that while working on establishing a new order, I should stay the course and let the output become my best advocate.
2016-2017: Corporate strategy director, Siemens, Munich
2012-2016: Project manager for strategy consulting, Siemens Management Consulting
2005-2010: Structured credit analyst, Dynamic Credit Partners, New York City, New York, USA
What advice would you give to a person considering a career in the auto industry?
It’s such an exciting time. Communities and economies will transform with the upcoming changes in automotive, transportation and mobility. Individuals will move and live differently. Being part of this industry will give you the opportunity to help write that future.
What job do you really want to have in the future?
This one. I have the ability to create and grow ideas together with experts in technology, markets, citizen engagement, regulation and beyond. I get to kick-start opportunities and solve problems. That’s very fulfilling. I’m also grateful to be working with so many diverse experts inside and outside my company to help tackle societal challenges, urban legacy, innovation and human behavior.
What do you do to relax?
What relaxes me the most is to go hiking with my fiancé across the Alps for four to five weeks at a time. All I need is a backpack, him and the mountains to restore and recharge me so I’m ready to take on whatever work challenge that comes next.
What is your dream location to live?
In the Alps. I have this vision of making goat cheese and drinking fine wine.
What is your favorite driving song?
“Baba O’Riley” by The Who. On the way to my soccer games as a kid this song taught me all about dashboard drumming.
What was your favorite road trip and why?
It’s hard to pick a favorite. However, our recent pre-Christmas road trip through northern Italy and Tuscany stands out. The people were so warm and it was lovely to visit family-run wineries during the off season. Areas such as Alto Adige and Tuscany have the most beautiful natural settings to drive through. Given the tragedy of our current world, the beauty of the people and nature that surrounded us is even more appreciated that ever and dearly missed. I’m obviously very fond of mountains and wine.
What was your first car?
A champagne-colored 1994 Honda Accord.
Since I walk everywhere it’s actually a pair of Veja V-10 sneakers.
If you were a car, which one would you be?
I would be an electric-powered Piaggio Ape Classic. It is a staple in Italian mountain villages and vineyards, making it the perfect fit for my dream living location.