Last year, Jennifer Marrocco helped steer Adient’s $360 million acquisition of seating manufacturer Futuris Group, an Australian supplier with one U.S. production customer — Tesla. Now, as Adient’s executive director of program excellence she is leading the Futuris North American business as well as overseeing program management for Volkswagen and General Motors.
She has followed a winding path to her current job. After earning an engineering degree from the University of Michigan in 1999, Marrocco launched a career at Ford. She moved through several positions ranging from supply chain management to manufacturing finance. In 2005, she landed a position in marketing and sales. One of her tasks was vehicle pricing.
In 2008, a mentor persuaded her to move to Inteva Products, a Michigan supplier of floor panels, instrument panels and interior trim that had been spun off from Delphi Automotive.
“I ended up as the sole person responsible for their mergers and acquisitions,” said Marrocco. “I didn’t know what I was doing at the time. I had never done that before but I kind of educated myself a bit and also worked very closely with the team to figure out what the needs were.”
In 2011, Inteva doubled in size after acquiring ArvinMeritor’s body systems division. Marrocco moved into a strategy role focused on integrating the companies. In 2012, she took an assignment in Germany leading Inteva’s global purchasing and supply chain management for roof systems. At the time, the company was enduring significant launch challenges and struggled to pay suppliers on time.
“A lot of what I learned was about how having good relationships with people really builds around trust,” she said. “That enables business to be conducted, despite certain external circumstances that might be outside of our control.”
In 2014, Marrocco made the leap to Johnson Controls, from which Adient was spun off in 2016.
“My first attraction to Johnson Controls was the fact that they were a multi-industrial,” she said.
“While the position I was looking at was automotive, they also are involved with other industries as well, which I thought, that could open the door to more possibilities.”
-- Anisa Jibrell