Head of global IT operations, Mercedes-Benz Mobility
What was your first automotive job and why were you interested in the industry?
In 2008 I joined Mercedes-Benz Group (formerly Daimler) as a senior project manager for the rollout of the point-of-sales program. I have always loved Mercedes-Benz cars.
Your greatest achievement?
The spinoff of Daimler Truck from the Mercedes-Benz passenger cars and vans business included the division of the former finance and mobility provider, Daimler Mobility, into two independent financial service providers. I served as the IT project lead at Mercedes-Benz Mobility for this complex separation that also included splitting computer applications and setting up supplier contracts in several markets for the two new DAX-listed companies, Daimler Truck and Mercedes-Benz. It was an honor to play a key role in the biggest industrial carve-out in history place in record time. In my private life, it was finishing fourth in Germany’s official barbecue championship in 2019.
Family: Wife, Bettina; daughters, Jule, 12, Hanna, 10
Born: Hamburg, Germany
Languages: German, English
Education: Bachelor’s degree in business informatics, Baden-Wuerttemberg Cooperative State University, Stuttgart, Germany; IT engineer certification, Chamber of Commerce and Industry (IHK), Stuttgart, Germany
What was your biggest failure and what did it teach you?
As a consultant I was responsible for a very complex business case that included many manual entries by a number of other consultants to an excel sheet. However, just before an important stakeholder meeting, we noticed that the data was no longer consistent because it had become so complex. I couldn’t trace the errors. I worked 48 hours straight to develop a case tool to help import existing data and check it for consistency. It allowed for additional statistics to be checked right away, preventing manual entries that were false. It was a massive challenge and I’m proud of the robust business case I built. I learned that if you don’t understand the complexity of a topic, step back. Then try to find measures that ensure you are moving in the right direction. This helps to provide consistency.
What is your current challenge at work?
I am responsible for the IT implementation of a major global transformation program within Mercedes-Benz Mobility. This includes IT in the many markets that are involved.
What is the best advice you have ever received?
Always deliver on time and above expectations.
June-present: Head of global IT operations, Mercedes-Benz Mobility, Stuttgart, Germany
2020-2022: CIO European markets, Mercedes-Benz Mobility, Stuttgart, Germany
2018-2020: Chief of staff to the board member for human resources Wilfried Porth, Mercedes-Benz Group, Stuttgart
2017-2018: Head of digital transformation office HR, Mercedes, Stuttgart
2015-2017: Manager of Mercedes me portal and app, Mercedes, Stuttgart
2012-2015: Lead architect, Daimler Mobility Services, Stuttgart
2008-2012: Senior project manager, Mercedes, Stuttgart
2007-2008: Senior consultant, Ginkgo Management Consulting, Hamburg, Germany
2004-2007: Senior consultant, Capgemini Deutschland, Berlin, Germany
What advice would you give to a person considering a career in the auto industry?
Question everything and be open to rapidly leading change every day.
What job do you really want to have in the future?
I would love to be in a position where I can share my experience and help others take bigger steps forward and in less time. I want to help create awesome solutions to save our planet.
What do you do to relax?
I love to spend time with family and barbecue.
What is your dream location to live?
Where I live now: Hamburg.
What is your favorite driving song?
At the moment I’m really into the “Baywatch Berlin” podcast.
What was your favorite road trip and why?
When I was 20, I drove from Stuttgart to the coast in southern France with two friends. We were in a small Fiat 500. It felt like we had achieved total freedom and could do whatever we wanted to do.
What was your first car?
A 1983 Volkswagen Polo.
A Mercedes GLE but in November I will switch to the Mercedes EQS.
If you were a car, which one would you be?
The forthcoming full-electric version of the Mercedes G-Class, the EQG, because it has proven its capabilities in the past and has continually been developed to cope with the challenges of the future.