Lorie Buckingham, 47
Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer, Visteon Corp.
Education: B.A., chemistry and mathematics, State University of New York, Potsdam
What your college professors didn't teach you: "The dynamics of the work situation."
First automotive job: Director of information technology strategic solutions at Visteon in 2000
Most fun automotive job: "The most fun part is being new to the industry and working with the Visteon leaders to understand the business model and to enable that to work for competitive advantage and global strategic solutions. That's what gives me energy every day."
- 2001-04 Chief information officer, Visteon Corp., Van Buren Township, Mich.
- 2000-01 Director, global software solutions, Visteon Corp., Dearborn, Mich.
- 1993-99 Director, enterprise information technology solutions, Union Carbide Corp., Danbury, Conn.
Proudest achievement: "We had to separate our systems from Ford. We had over 1,000 people working on it globally. It was completed in 18 months. I'll never forget the weekend in April 2004 when everybody did what they needed to do to pull this off. There were businesspeople across every function of Visteon and Ford. A thousand people over several different companies, and, yes, I headed that up."
Current challenge: "I'm focused on using my skills as a change leader to help us through this tremendous transition we're working on and how to enable Visteon going forward coming through this transition."
On being successful: "I've worked across many diverse industries. I've been in aerospace, banking, chemicals and finance. To me, the way to be successful no matter who you are is to know yourself, be yourself and have fun. There is not one type of personality that is successful. Your strength is in yourself."
What about the auto industry surprised you: "The business operating model, with the oversupply issue and what that means throughout the supply chain. That was quite an eye-opener for me."
What women need to know for success in the auto industry: "It can be challenging when you are outnumbered. You are outnumbered in the auto industry. The winning strategy is to be part of the team and not even let that issue be in the room. Don't let it be an issue, and don't let anybody else make it an issue."
Job to which you aspire: "Maybe I would want to someday be chief operating officer of a small company. I like change, and I'll play almost any role to help drive it."
What you do to relax: "The first thing is my husband and my children. They keep me grounded. I like reading. I do a lot of other things. I'm learning how to fly an airplane for the fun of it. I'm a slow learner, but I will get my pilot's license in the future."