- President & CEO
- BMW Group Japan
Hometown: Munich, Germany
Number of years in Japan (cumulative): 3 (as of October 2017)
My first encounter with Japan was a visit to Tokyo several years ago, back in 2008. At that time, I was here to attend a BMW Group press conference for the Asia-Pacific region.
I’ve lived here since 2014, working as the president and CEO of BMW Group Japan.
People often say that “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.”
I chose that quote because I like developing new ideas and experiencing unexplored territories; this quote reminds me to always challenge myself.
In my career, my proudest achievement is that I have successfully managed the various challenges that come with working in different cultures. For example, overcoming the different issues when I was setting up BMW Group’s businesses in India, Russia and other countries around the world.
Of course I have many goals for my time here, and also for my career and life in general.
Personally, I’m aiming to learn more about Japan and the complexities of this amazing culture.
Career-wise, I’m working to successfully develop the BMW Group business on a sustainable level.
My advice to people living and working in Japan is to make an effort to understand the difference between honne and tatemae.
Honne is a person’s true feelings and tatemae is the polite things people say instead.
Understanding the difference is always a challenge for those new to Japan, but it’s the key to furthering discussions.