Daniel Barel, 43
Co-founder and CEO, REE Automotive
What was your first automotive job and why were you interested in the industry?
I began my automotive career in 2013 when I founded REE with the understanding that this industry was headed for a major change. I believed we needed to challenge age-old concepts and bring new inventions to market, such as the REEcorner, which integrates steering, braking, suspension and powertrain functions into the wheel arch. We aim to create better, more modular, future-proof electric vehicles that meet stringent CO2 regulations. They can be purpose-built to meet customers' exact needs with respect to size, shape, driving mode, propulsion source and more.
Your greatest achievement?
My greatest professional achievement is building a company from scratch and creating true disruption within the automotive arena. I established a vast network of partners that are true industry leaders such as Toyota's truck division, Hino, Mitsubishi Corp., Magna International, American Axle and Mahindra. It's exciting to see the positive momentum we are experiencing. We are generating massive amounts of interest and coverage. At the same time we are enlarging our global footprint with the recent opening of our engineering center in the UK, working to establish integration centers and are even winning industry awards.
Family: Wife, Yael Broiotman
Born: Be'er Sheva, Israel
Nationality: Israeli and Polish
Languages: English, Hebrew, Arabic
Education: Bachelor's degree in economics, Hebrew University, Jerusalem, Israel
What was your biggest failure and what did it teach you?
Unfortunately, I had to shut down a previous company I founded. The situation just wasn't fixable because of the wrong capital structure. However, I learned a lot from this setback.
What is your current challenge at work?
We are growing quickly and are on track to become a global company. Right now, we are recruiting worldwide. We also just announced a merger agreement with 10X Capital Venture Acquisition Corp. It will allow us to grow and accelerate the market launch of our REEcorner and EV platforms. All this brings challenges, but we are well equipped to surmount any obstacles that may come our way.
2013-present: Co-founder and CEO, REE Automotive, Tel-Aviv, Israel
2017-present: Co-founder and chairman, SpecterX, Tel-Aviv
2013-present: Co-founder and president, Softwheel, Tel-Aviv
2007-2013: Co-founder and president, CAUTES International, Hong Kong
2012-2018: Founder and chairman, Wooof, Tel-Aviv and St. Petersburg, Russia
What is the best advice you have ever received?
Well done is better than well said.
What advice would you give to a person considering a career in the auto industry?
This is a great time to join this industry. Don't wait!
What job do you really want to have in the future?
I'm very fortunate because I'm already doing what I love.
What do you do to relax?
I love listening to music while watching the waves on the ocean. It's very relaxing.
What is your dream location to live?
I really love Tel-Aviv, Israel.
What is your favorite driving song?
Siri gets to choose the music for me.
What was your first car?
My first car was a Renault Clio RS.
I currently drive a BMW X5 hybrid.
If you were a car, which one would you be?
Of course, I would be a REE!