Director digital services, new business development and support, Audi
What was your first automotive job and why were you interested in the industry?
My first official job was in vehicle distribution. I organized everything from deliveries at the port to getting cars to the dealerships. I was attracted to the industry based on my love of cars. In fact, my first love in life was a car: a gold, second-generation Volkswagen Golf GTI.
Your greatest achievement?
It’s my career journey from working at an importer in Ireland to being employed by an automaker, Audi, in Germany, where I now have a permit to work for life after multiple years under an expat contract. This change has help me elevate into the senior management tier at the company.
Born: Dublin, Ireland
Education: Bachelor’s degree in engineering technology, automotive technology and management, Dublin Institute of Technology, Dublin, Ireland
What was your biggest failure and what did it teach you?
In 2022 I was approached to take a new position and told that the required interview was just a formality to prove all the needed boxes got ticked. What took place was a proper assessment interview and not the casual chat I was expecting. I was incredibly underprepared and therefore I didn’t get the job. What I learned is to never take anything for granted. Nothing in life is a given so always be prepared.
What is your current challenge at work?
We are trying to operationalize new digital business models using classic OEMs guidelines, but business models we are trying to adapt are from other layers of the distribution system, specifically the importers and dealerships. For these new business models for distribution, areas such as data licensing, on-demand services and more need to be set up with the automaker in the operational role.
What is the best advice you have ever received?
Don’t change the way you are because that is your unique selling point.
July 2023 to present: Director digital business, Cupra, Barcelona, Spain
2021 to June 2023: Director for digital services, new business development and support, Audi, Ingolstadt, Germany
2018–2021: Head of digital business customer services, Audi, Ingolstadt
2015–2018: Head of aftersales, Audi Ireland, Dublin, Ireland
2012–2015: Area aftersales manager, Skoda Ireland and Audi Ireland, Dublin
2007–2012: Various roles at Volkswagen Group Ireland, Dublin
What advice would you give to a person considering a career in the auto industry?
After you join industry, you will quickly realize it’s a small community. You will cross paths with many people more than once. You should always treat everyone with respect because you never know when you might need their support again in the future. Bring your passion, share it but don’t impose it on others.
What job do you really want to have in the future?
I’m interested in the transformation of the industry’s vehicle sales model. Therefore, I foresee having a leading role in a direct vehicle sales company or brand in the future. The direct sales model challenges all existing structures and processes, but operations and scaling will be the key to success.
What do you do to relax?
Every evening after my little one is in bed I go for a one hour walk around the beautiful city of Munich. A clear head in the evening makes for a fresh start the next day.
What is your dream location to live?
I’m very much a city person, therefore I would love to live in New York City for a while.
What is your favorite driving song?
This is a tough one because I like two songs from the artist Portugal. The Man: “Live in the Moment” and “Feel It Still.”
What was your favorite road trip and why?
Ireland’s west coast is perfect for a driving tour. It offers the pleasure of driving the road least traveled. You have to rely on road signs and your instinct for navigation. Then there’s the incomparable view of the Atlantic Ocean from your car window.
What was your first car?
A third-generation Volkswagen Golf.
An Audi E-tron 55 Sportback.
If you were a car, which one would you be?
A Toyota Land Cruiser. I want to live forever and believe not even former “Top-Gear” host Jeremy Clarkson could destroy a vehicle such as a Land Cruiser.