What was your first automotive job and why were you interested in the industry?
When I was a student I did a holiday job preparing new vehicles for customer delivery. To this day, I’m still fascinated by how much teamwork is needed to design, engineer, build and deliver a perfect car in time and at the highest quality possible.
Your greatest achievement?
Successfully managing several major transitions at the same time. This happened when I moved to a new city (Barcelona), in a new country (Spain), to a new company (Seat and Cupra), to a new career discipline (digitalization) and welcomed a new addition to the family, our daughter, Cleo. Things have turned out pretty well.
Family: Wife, Christiane; daughter, Cleo, 3
Born: Heilbronn, Germany
Languages: German, English, Spanish, Italian, French
Education: Doctorate and master’s degree in mechanical engineering, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Karlsruhe, Germany; bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering, Baden-Württemberg Cooperative State University, Stuttgart, Germany
What was your biggest failure and what did it teach you?
In the past I tried to do too many things at the same time. This taught me to work with more focus and to have a better understanding of my personal energy level.
What is your current challenge at work?
High-performance vehicles need to be redefined. With electrification and digitalization, the customer’s needs are evolving quickly. We need to adapt and modify our product portfolio based on their feedback. Along with offering the best hardware (design, performance and quality) we need to offer the best software to provide optimal experiences whether the owner is inside or outside of the car.
What is the best advice you have ever received?
Try to stay the way you are.
2021-present: Managing director, Audi Sport, Neckarsulm, Germany
2020-2021: Managing director, Porsche Digital Iberia, Barcelona, Spain
2019-2021: Board of directors member, Seat:Code (tech startup), Barcelona
2018-2021: Chief information officer, Seat and Cupra brands, Barcelona
2016-2018: Manager IT product process and project manager for IT transformation, Audi, Ingolstadt, Germany
2012-2016: Manager architecture future drivetrains and simulation powertrains, Audi, Ingolstadt
2003-2012: Application engineer, technical project manager, Audi, Ingolstadt
2002-2003: Le Mans motor sport project, Audi Motorsport, Neckarsulm
What advice would you give to a person considering a career in the auto industry?
Follow your dreams and do what you really love but also have a disruptive mindset. There is a lot of room for you to help design the future of automotive during this unprecedented time of change.
What job do you really want to have in the future?
I would always go for a job that I love and that fulfills me.
What do you do to relax?
I drive my classic cars, which include a Seat 850 Spider, Fiat 500 and a first-generation Audi 100. I also have a NSU Quickly moped. I also love to spend quality time with my family, drive karts, play tennis, cook for friends and family, or just enjoy a good cup of coffee.
What is your dream location to live?
That would be Barcelona.
What is your favorite driving song?
The song “Happy” by Pharrell Williams.
What was your favorite road trip and why?
We really enjoy visiting the Tuscany region of Italy. The landscape is beautiful, there are curvy roads, the weather is great, the food and wine are brilliant. Tuscany is my favorite place for a road trip.
What was your first car?
I had an old Audi 90 Cabriolet, which I enjoyed very much.
An Audi RS e-tron GT. Here, high performance and electrification are combined perfectly. It symbolizes the future at Audi Sport. It’s just a dream!
If you were a car, which one would you be?
I would be a first-generation Audi TT Roadster. It’s dynamic, fast and ahead of its time.