Gregory Duconge, 43
What was your first automotive job and why were you interested in the industry?
I started working in the automotive industry in 2000 as a cost controller for Valeo Lighting Systems North America. I was always a big car fan and had even enjoyed go-kart racing for a couple of years. That’s why working in the auto industry came natural to me. The auto industry has changed quite a bit over the last 20 years and I’m pretty excited about the upcoming challenges. I look forward to the contributions I can make in its transformation by providing the technology solutions that power the most successful shared mobility businesses around the world.
Born: Rouen, France
Languages: French, English, Spanish
Education: MBA, Texas A&M International University, Laredo, Texas, USA; master’s degree in international business, Montpellier Business School, Montpellier, France
Your greatest achievement?
My greatest professional achievement so far is definitely building a fantastic team at Vulog. We have great professionals who offer unique industry expertise. At the same time, they are all really good human beings. I’m very proud of our team.
What was your biggest failure and what did it teach you?
I’m sure I’ve made mistakes in the past and likely still make some now. What is most important is to learn from them. It’s also important to continue to improve.
What is your current challenge at work?
Keeping up with the rapid growth is definitely a great and exciting challenge to deal with. That’s especially true when this growth is spread over five continents.
What is the best advice you have ever received?
Build a team of people who are better than you but share common values. Throughout my career I have had the great fortune to be surrounded by terrific leaders.
2014-2015: Chief Financial Officer, Valeo Powertrain Systems Business Group, Paris
2013-2014: Co-founder and chief operating officer, Let.com, San Francisco, California, USA/Marseille, France
2009-2013: COO, Miyowa, San Francisco/Marseille
2007-2009: CFO, Valeo Lighting Systems South Europe, Martos, Spain
2006-2007: CFO, Valeo Electrical Systems Europe Aftermarket Division, Angers, France/Czechowice, Poland
2003-2005: Finance director, Valeo Rear Lighting Systems France, Paris
2001-2002: Product group management controller, Valeo Lighting Systems, Paris
2000-2001: Cost controller, Valeo Lighting Systems, Indianapolis, Indiana, USA/Queretaro, Mexico
What advice would you give to a person considering a career in the auto industry?
Keep in mind the auto industry is changing really fast. The auto industry, as we know it, will soon no longer exist. Everything is shifting toward a mobility industry. Don’t be afraid to bring new ideas to the table. The next 10 years will be incredible because this industry will transform.
What job do you really want to have in the future?
I love what I’m doing today, which is leading a great company with an incredible team, while making a strong impact on fighting climate change.
What do you do to relax?
I like to run.
What is your dream location to live?
I have never really thought about it. For now, it’s not important to me.
What is your favorite driving song?
I really enjoy the song “Stickshifts and Safetybelts,” by U.S. alternative rock band Cake.
What was your favorite road trip and why?
I had the chance to do an incredible road trip from Texas to San Francisco in 1998. That was during my days of being a student at TAMIU. It allowed me to discover the U.S. West Coast, which was such an amazing experience.
What was your first car?
A used 1989 Ford Probe GT. While it was a fun car to drive, it really wasn’t reliable. Once I got stuck on a bridge at the Mexican-U.S. boarder because of an overheated engine.
I no longer own a car. I mostly use public transportation and I walk a lot. When I do need a car, I use one from my favorite car-sharing operators. After all those years owning a car, I now realize that it is much more convenient and cheaper relying on shared mobility services.
If you were a car, which one would you be?
A shared electric vehicle.