Global technical account manager, Pirelli Deutschland
What was your first automotive job and why were you interested in the industry?
My first job was with Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi, where I began to really understand the principles of vehicle development. I learned about the high impact that parts suppliers have as they work with the automakers to launch new vehicle models. My first project was the Renault Duster.
Your greatest achievement?
At the beginning of my career I took a job with an Australian company and moved to Melbourne. I found it very challenging to work with international teams in different countries. However, I overcame these difficulties and tasks by approaching them with a positive attitude. It was very rewarding because working abroad with international companies helped me gain knowledge and versatile skills. I'm also very grateful for my family. They have always believed in me and supported my worldwide endeavors.
Born: Yelets, Russia
Languages: English, German, Russian
Education: MBA, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Moscow, Russia; master's degree in mechanical engineering, Peoples' Friendship University of Russia, Moscow, Russia; executive education courses, Stanford University, Palo Alto, California, USA
What was your biggest failure and what did it teach you?
For three years I had a very successful career at the Australian company. Then the Global Recession hit in 2008-09. That pushed me to change my area of professional development. This transition taught me to never worry if something happens that wasn't your fault. As long as you have knowledge, ideas and confidence, you will always be able to take the next step. Stay flexible.
What is your current challenge at work?
I'm managing a global team that aims to grow business with our luxury client by providing the best technologies along with an innovative approach in project management. Our goal is to support automakers so they reach vehicle performance targets and bring the best possible products to the market. My team's motto for this year is "Drive to action -- not perfection."
What is the best advice you have ever received?
I'm fortunate to have received great support from many people over the years. One bit of advice I keep coming back to though is from U.S. author and businessman Stephen R. Covey. He said that true success lies in moving from a life limited by external trappings -- money, popularity and being self-absorbed -- to a life of integrity, responsibility and contributing to the world. This is how I strive to live.
2019-present: Global technical account manager, Mercedes-Benz and Mercedes-AMG, Pirelli Deutschland, Frankfurt, Germany
2017-2019: Original equipment (OE) technical account manager, Pirelli Deutschland, Frankfurt
2013-2017: OE technical account manager, Pirelli Russia, Moscow, Russia
2011-2013: Local integration leader and projects manager of tires and rims development, Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi, Moscow, Russia
2008-2011: Project engineer, CoxGomyl, Melbourne, Australia
What advice would you give to a person considering a career in the auto industry?
The automotive industry offers great opportunities as it shifts toward electrification and new mobility schemes. There is room for creativity and fresh ideas. Mastering your skills will allow you to have the career of your dreams. Each year I participate in the career day at International School of Frankfurt and see encouraging signs. More and more students are interested in building a career in engineering and the automotive sector.
What job do you really want to have in the future?
Our world is changing quickly. I'm both passionate and curious about the opportunities that the move toward new mobility schemes will bring. I hope to be involved in many international projects with innovative technologies, lead teams and contribute to the future of the automotive industry.
What do you do to relax?
I enjoy spending time at a thermal spa and sauna. Also, my morning run, which takes me through a forest near the Main River, allows me to be free and refresh my mind and come up with new ideas. During the evenings I like sitting on the terrace, reading and watching the sun set in the Taunus Mountains while I enjoy some homemade tea with fresh mint and passion fruit.
What is your dream location to live?
I love being close to both lakes and mountains. That's why southern Germany, Switzerland, Austria or Italy would be perfect. However, I also like the San Francisco and Palo Alto area of northern California. I can feel the spirit of entrepreneurship in the air when I'm there. I find it inspiring and enjoy my yearly visits.
What is your favorite driving song?
That depends on what mood I'm in and what kind of day I had. My drive to work is 75 km, so I prefer something energetic such as songs by Pitbull or something inspiring such as "Superwoman" by Alicia Keys. On the ride home I like to wind down by listening to classical music by Tchaikovsky or Gershwin. It helps me reflect after a busy day.
What was your favorite road trip and why?
When I worked in Melbourne I spent many weekends driving the Great Ocean Road. The 243-km stretch offers breathtaking views, lush forests, historic headlands and amazing sandstone statues in the ocean. I can't think of anything better. To me, it's like driving on the edge of the earth.
What was your first car?
A Renault Megane.
An AMG version of the Mercedes-Benz GLA.
If you were a car, which one would you be?
A Mercedes EQS. To me it combines elegant style, innovation and comfort with unique character and power.