Global chief information security officer, Stellantis
What was your first automotive job and why were you interested in the industry?
My first job was a six-month internship working on PSA/Peugeot-Citroen’s IT network in 2002, but my interest in the industry long preceded that because of my passion for car racing. It was important to me to find a sector and a company where IT could facilitate transformation. During those six months, I worked at one of our main plants.
Your greatest achievement?
I’m very proud of the different technical challenges my team and I have successfully tackled over the years. From the transition to Industry 4.0 to the very specific challenges we faced first from the merger with Opel/Vauxhall and then with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. We successfully supported the transformation of the company. While I’m the technical leader of these projects, I wouldn’t have succeeded without the support of my colleagues. I want to thank them for that.
Family: Wife, Barbara; daughter, Emma 11; son, Alois, 8
Born: Paris, France
Languages: French, English
Education: Master’s degree in engineering and computer science, Universite de Technologie de Compiegne, Compiegne, France
What was your biggest failure and what did it teach you?
It came during my first years as a network administrator at the company. I was changing the network of Peugeot Sport’s site to enhance its capabilities. Despite being an expert on the equipment’s configuration and having prepared for the change, I made a mistake and lost control of the device. The only way to fix it was to get in my car, drive to where the device was and connect to with a cable. Fortunately, this happened during non-business hours, so there was limited impact. However, this situation humbled me. I learned that no matter how much of an expert you think you are, mistakes can happen. It’s important to factor this into any plan.
What is your current challenge at work?
As Stellantis’ chief information security officer my main objective is to protect the company from cyberattacks that could damage our operations, finances and reputation. This is especially true for the trust we have built with customers in our products and services. The tricky part is that a growing number of assets are now connected digitally, which increases the risk of attacks that are getting more sophisticated all the time. That means we are in a never-ending race to constantly raise our level of protection.
What is the best advice you have ever received?
At the beginning of my career someone told me the key to success is to constantly learn. I feel this is even more true today than when I first started.
2022-present: Global chief information security officer, Stellantis, Bessoncourt, France
2019-2022: Head of network, security and voice, PSA/Stellantis, Bessoncourt
2018-2019: Head of network, security and voice operations, PSA, Bessoncourt
2015-2018: Head of campus and datacenter LAN architecture, PSA, Bessoncourt
2009-2015: Campus and datacenter LAN architect, PSA, Bessoncourt
2002-2009: Network and security integrator and operator, PSA, Velizy and Poissy, France
What advice would you give to a person considering a career in the auto industry?
Don’t focus on what you know, but on your willingness to constantly learn. The speed of change in all facets of life will make your adaptation skills your main strength.
What job do you really want to have in the future?
I don’t have a plan for it yet. I want to stay focused on what I have to do today. This is an exciting time for all of us at Stellantis. Working with new colleagues all over the world for more than a year now, learning from the different cultures and tackling new challenges together has been amazing.
What do you do to relax?
When I need a break, I like to enjoy nature’s beauty in the mountains near my house. We take hikes during the summer and ski in the winter. However, I have come up with a backup plan if the weather is bad or we don’t have enough time: during the pandemic, I built a virtual reality simulator to drive racecars on a track. Now I can race whenever I want from home. The level of happiness you can get with today’s technology is incredible. You can completely tune out daily worries and problems by diving into a virtual world.
What is your dream location to live?
We would love to live on Corsica. Our entire family adores it.
What is your favorite driving song?
It’s “Into the Fire” by the group Thirteen Senses. This song was part of the “Sky Fighters” soundtrack. Listening to this song while at the wheel of a powerful car on a narrow road in the mountains makes me feel free in the most amazing way.
What was your favorite road trip and why?
I love to travel through Switzerland and enjoy the countryside. I adore narrow mountain roads that are away from civilization. I don’t need a destination. It’s just about enjoying the car, the road and the scenery.
What was your first car?
A Peugeot 309 given to me by my grandparents.
A Peugeot 508 PSE.
If you were a car, which one would you be?
A 1967 Eleanor Shelby GT 500. Not that I necessarily identify myself with this vehicle, but it’s been my dream car since I was a kid.