Ana Almeida, 46
Vice president of Ford and GM customer business units, Faurecia
Big break: Translating the satisfaction of her Faurecia team to the satisfaction of her customers
As vice president of Faurecia’s Ford and General Motors customer business units, Ana Almeida uses a foolproof equation for success.
First, she believes that having high expectations of her team contributes to their performance. Second, Almeida’s industrywide network helps her build lasting relationships with suppliers. This two-pronged strategy translates to the satisfaction of her colleagues and customers.
Almeida has used this technique throughout a variety of customer, quality, engineering and program management roles in her career, including 15 years at Brose North America and two and a half at Faurecia, where she has secured over $2.5 billion in sales.
“I think there is this assumption that for one company to win, the other one has to lose,” said Almeida. “I think in order to have a good relationship with a supplier, you really have to know their product and their business model.”
The design of her team is a key component for success. It means considering team members’ personalities and other factors. “I’m convinced that the more that is expected from teams, the higher the team can perform,” said Almeida. “Once you get them going, results come.”
Success has sometimes brought challenges — not only within the industry, but also within her career.
“The way auto OEMs work these days, there is a lot of cross competition in the supply chain, and you have to be able to manage that,” she said. “When I arrived here with a different culture, a different product, a different set of circumstances and in a different position — I thought, ‘Am I going to be able to do that?’?”
Almeida grew up in a small town in Mexico, which has motivated her and made her grateful.
“Gratitude is a pretty powerful value for me. I feel that I have so many things to be grateful for that I constantly feel the need to give back.”
— Alexa St. John