A career-long Nissan employee, Roel de Vries was not initially set on a marketing path, having graduated with a degree in industrial engineering. However, after joining the car marque as a graduate trainee, a marketing career soon beckoned when he took up a position in South Africa, working to become director of marketing and sales. Following this he took on a number of global positions including general manager and program director for specific divisions before taking up his current job. De Vries says managing the sudden changes in the market – from strong growth to steep decline – made him “reassess everything” but he believes it was a great lesson “to see how views and decisions need to change with time”.
Biggest challenge: “Aligning a large organisation towards a common direction. It is, however, also the most rewarding part when it works.”