The power of partnerships in today's digital economy
Hear from Audi's CFO following this year's participation during a gathering on innovation, the 2018 Harvest Summit.Read More
How do you explain your job at a dinner party?
Audi has created the Audi Innovation Research hub in San Francisco to be out here where innovation is happening. We work on two main topics: innovation research and digital service design. We start with an ideation process to find, as I call them, the digital gold nuggets – any topic that surprises and piques curiosity and maybe shows market potential. I'm located in one of our most important markets, can see what's happening here in the U.S., understand the specifics of this market and translate these things back into tangible outcomes, may it be innovative research and direct customer feedback to help prioritize projects, or customer-centric insights on how in the future our customers would like to engage with us as a brand when it comes to, for example, buying our products or the first prototype for a digital services.
What are you passionate about right now at work?
I have always enjoyed working on innovative topics and thinking outside the box. I love the challenge to understand what's new out there and translate it into action for Audi. And that’s what makes me passionate about my work right now.
What about outside of work?
I love to go to the Museum of Modern Art here in San Francisco and go hiking on the weekends. There's such beautiful scenery around the city. It feels good to be outdoors and hike along the coast – it's breathtaking! I also enjoy good restaurants and the great variety of delicious food here. I love Mexican and Indian food. To stay balanced, I do yoga and enjoy reading a lot. I love to go to the movies and travel here. Living here has been a great opportunity to learn more about the American culture and all the stunning sites this country has to offer. Recently, I went 30 minutes outside of the city and visited Rodeo Beach. Beautiful beach and great hiking – it actually reminded me a lot of Ireland. For my summer vacation I'm off to the Florida Keys.
What’s your favorite memory that involves an automobile?
During my university studies I lived in Barcelona. At the time I had an old Fiat Panorama. I think only 500 units of this car were built. It was a screaming yellow. I drove it all over Spain, and back and forth between Germany and Spain and it felt like living in a road trip movie. It was really a fun time and I enjoyed it a great deal. After my return to Germany, I had to re-learn how to drive properly on German roads.
Who’s your personal hero?
That is a difficult question actually. All my life I have had the luck to meet a lot of impressive people from all walks of life. So it's really hard for me to pick one. To be a hero, I believe, you have to follow your dreams and never give up. You have to stay truthful even in difficult situations and inspire people. And it does not matter if you are the next door neighbor or a celebrity. So I must say, I do not have one personal hero, it is more people in general who follow these values and are free – those are my heroes.
What’s the last show you binge-watched and why?
"Game of Thrones" on HBO – I just could not stop. It was so fascinating how the whole plot developed and I could not stand the cliffhanger situations so I had to continue watching. Great story with great actors – really thrilling. I love when a movie or show just sucks me in and I can really live inside the plot.
What did you listen to on your drive to work this morning?
Walk the Moon – I love their song “One Foot."
What was your first job?
I was working in the Audi AG Public Relations department organizing big events like employee meetings to introduce new models to the Audi staff. At the same time we were responsible for the Audi VIP chauffer service for events like the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland and the Salzburg Festival in Austria. And we provided cars for Hollywood films, too. The first big product placement I was involved in was the movie "Ronin" with the Audi A8. Great fun!
Why did you decide to become a part of the research team and why do it at Audi?
In the last couple of years, my main focus has been urban mobility and how our business model is disrupted by all the new technologies which emerge especially in the city context. So for me, it seemed like a natural fit to move to San Francisco and see for myself how all these new developments change the way people are mobile. And it's great to have the market perspective, get the insights and learn even more about the digital world and what the future will look like.
Why at Audi? I love the brand and I want to be part of the movement which will enable the multifaceted transition from car manufacturer to mobility provider and all the opportunities this will bring.
What's one of the most memorable projects you've worked on in your role for Audi?
The Audi Urban Future Initiative. I created this initiative and I enjoyed so much working with city planners, architects and technicians to define what urban mobility in the future will look like. I learned a lot during that time; it was inspiring, challenging and I loved it. I met so many interesting people, it was mind blowing. And I was very thankful that I was able to start this movement at the time at Audi.
What one word best describes you?
Where did you grow up?
I grew up in the Black Forest region in the Southwest of Germany surrounded by lots of wineries, close to the Swiss and French boarder.
Which talent would you most like to have?
I would love to be a fantastic piano player.Read All Stories