Jane Warner, 58
President, Plexus Systems LLC
Education: B.A., education and business, Michigan State University; M.A., education, Michigan State University; M.B.A., Sloan Fellow, Stanford University
First automotive job: Trainer in human resources at Chevrolet engineering in 1973
Most fun automotive job: "Running the Textron operation. I've always had the most fun running operations."
- 2000-04 Vice president; president, global manufacturing industry group, EDS, Troy, Mich.
- 1994-99 Various positions, including president, Kautex Textron North America; and executive vice president, Textron Automotive, Troy, Mich.
- 1973-93 Various positions at General Motors, including assistant chief engineer, Camaro-Firebird platform; general superintendent, Doraville (Ga.) Assembly and Willow Run (Mich.) Assembly; and superintendent, Pontiac
Proudest achievement: "When I was at EDS, I was responsible for championing a large deal that EDS did with DaimlerChrysler. Until then, all of their business was with General Motors or GM affiliates. In a period of one year, I was able to establish a substantial pipeline to new customers."
Current challenge: "My biggest challenge is market awareness. I've been in the industry for a long time, and I believe we're offering a solution to people. It's just a matter of getting our identity out."
What about the auto industry surprised you: "How slow it is for some companies to change. It seems obvious that the path to success now is a global perspective and a broadening of your customer base. And yet so many companies are slow to embrace that."
What women need to know for success in the auto industry: "Networking is critical. Drive is critical. And do everything you can to identify and understand the true needs of the organization."
What you do to relax: "I'm a runner. I enjoy traveling. We also like spending time at our northern cottage."