Jean Mayer, 51
Executive Director, Asia-Pacific and Africa Purchasing and Global Systems, Ford Motor Co.
Education: B.A., business administration, University of Michigan; M.B.A., Eastern Michigan University
First automotive job: Buyer in Ford Motor Co.'s electrical and electronics division in 1977
Biggest mistake and what you learned: "Underestimating the importance of culture in doing business in other countries. You need to step back and pay attention."
Career highlights (all with Ford)
- 2002-04 Executive director, global manufacturing procurement operations, global purchasing
- 2000-02 Executive director, customer relationship services, ConsumerConnect, marketing sales and service (cross-functional assignment)
- 1997-2000 Executive director, global manufacturing procurement operations, global purchasing
- 1996-97 Director, strategic planning, global purchasing
- 1995-96 Director, Small/medium Vehicle Centre, production purchasing, Ford Europe
- 1992-94 Director, program planning, global purchasing
Proudest achievement: "I am very proud of the purchasing leadership across the region and the way they have stepped up to meet the challenges of this exciting and growing market."
Current challenge: "Finding a way to work effectively across the various organizations we have in Asia-Pacific, Ford, Mazda and joint ventures with our Chinese partners."
On being successful: "I am successful because I work hard and focus on priorities. Also, Ford has provided me many opportunities to deliver results on which I have tried to capitalize. Presently having the opportunity to work with Asia-Pacific and Africa is a significant opportunity, which I appreciate."
What women need to know for success in the auto industry: "It's not for people who are unsure about what they want to do, not for those half-committed."
Job to which you aspire: "To be the leader with whom everyone wants to work because of the development the experience provides and the business results delivered."
What you do to relax: "Reading and traveling."