Ann Marie Petach, 45
Vice President, Treasurer, Ford Motor Co.
Education: B.A., business and Spanish,Muhlenburg College; M.B.A., Carnegie-Mellon University
First automotive job: Financial analyst at Ford’s electronics division in 1984
Biggest mistake and what you learned: "Early in my career I thought it was important to negotiate as hard as possible, that I had to win on every point. But I learned that you just need to win on the really important points, let some things go so both sides can go away feeling a winner."
Career highlights (all with Ford)
- 1998-2004 Assistant treasurer
- 1997-98 Assistant treasurer, Ford Motor Credit Co.
- 1995-97 Director, global banking, Ford Motor, Ford Credit, Ford Credit Europe
- 1994-95 Treasurer, AutoEuropa (Ford-Volkswagen joint venture)
Proudest achievement: "Becoming treasurer of Ford. I feel great about that. It is a great position at one of the largest treasury operations of any company."
Current challenge: "The domestic auto industry is going through a difficult environment, particularly with the deterioration in credit ratings. We need to continue to evolve and grow cost-effective structures to help Ford Motor Credit so that it can continue to grow and help the company."
On being successful: "You are only as successful as the quality of your team."
What about the auto industry surprised you: "As a new employee, I didn’t appreciate the volatility of the industry from year to year and how different the top of the cycle versus the bottom of the cycle can feel. As I watch new hires, I can see the shock to them."
What women need to know for success in the auto industry: "You need a long-term perspective on things. Understand the overall drivers of the industry. Know what you can contribute to the success of the business. Focus on things you can control while understanding the outside forces as well."
What you do to relax: "I have two young kids — 2 and 5 years old. I love to spend time with them and my husband. That keeps me pretty young."