Philipp Sayler von Amende, 39
CEO and co-founder, carwow Germany
What was your first automotive job and why were you interested in the industry?
As a teenager I worked at my parent's car dealerships, where I washed cars and even learned the art of making cold calls from the sales team. After high school I worked at the dealerships and centralized the IT systems and infrastructure. I also implemented ISO standards and supported the launch of two new brands.
Your greatest achievement?
Professionally I am very proud of carwow Germany as well as our global automaker and media business. We have more than 1,700 dealers working with us in Germany, where we now account for more than 3 percent of all retail sales, up from nothing five years ago. We can also show a two-digit million euro revenue line in Germany. When it comes to the global automaker side, we have built a new international business working directly with car manufacturers to improve their online sales. In addition, I have built a media advertising business for automakers at carwow that is delivering more than 3 million euros in revenue a year.
Philipp Sayler von Amende
Born: Pforzheim, Germany
Languages: German, English, basic Spanish and French
Education: MBA, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China; bachelor's degree in business management, ESB Business School, Reutlingen, Germany; participated in the World Economic Forum's global leadership fellowship program
What is your current challenge at work?
Properly scaling a business that is growing at light speed while also navigating through these very uncertain times we all face. This requires flexibility and being ready for constant change.
What is the best advice you have ever received?
A former boss once promoted me two levels up into an area of the business where I had no experience. He believed in me because he felt I had the right attitude to be successful no matter what. Since then my mantra has been: hire based on attitude and not experience.
What advice would you give to a person considering a career in the auto industry?
There is a lot of competence and competition in this industry. However, if you are open minded, tenacious and really passionate about driving change, you will not only have fun but also be successful.
2016-present: CEO and co-founder carwow Germany; global automotive and media lead carwow Ltd., Munich, Germany
2014-2015: Senior vice president, TrueCar, Santa Monica, California, USA
2011-2014: Associate director, automotive industry, World Economic Forum, New York, NY, USA
2007-2011: Manager automotive practice, Arthur D. Little, Munich, Germany
2005: Marketing assistant, Porsche Asia Pacific, Singapore
2004-2005: Digital sales performance management, DaimlerChrysler, Stuttgart, Germany
2003-2004: International sales assistant, Porsche, Ludwigsburg, Germany
What job do you really want to have in the future?
I love my current job as it continuously changes and evolves. If anything, I might found and run another automotive-focused business in the future. This company would have to be a catalyst for making a change that I'm equally passionate about.
What do you do to relax?
I love physical activity such as going for a run, taking a long hike or mountain biking. It's ideal when I can do this together with my wife and children.
What is your dream location to live?
I would say California.
What is your favorite driving song?
I don't have one. However, I'm currently going through a 1990s German Hip Hop phase with my son. It's what we play when we are in the car together.
What was your favorite road trip and why?
A few years after I graduated from university I went on an epic road trip with my best friends. We drove from southern California to Las Vegas, visited sites such as the Grand Canyon, Death Valley, Yosemite National Park, spent time in San Francisco and then we took Highway 1 back to Los Angeles. It was an unforgettable experience.
What was your first car?
My first car was a red Renault 19 2.0 16V.
I drive a 1981 Mercedes-Benz 280 SL while the family car is a BMW 330e Touring station wagon.
If you were a car, which one would you be?
A Porsche 911 from the 1980s.