Kristopher Doyle, 34
Director, investor relations and financial planning, Visteon Corp.
Big break: A 2018 conversation with Visteon’s CFO about joining the company’s investor relations team
Kristopher Doyle has a simple strategy for working with investors: Be proactive and transparent — even when the company’s struggling.
That strategy was tested shortly after the New Jersey native joined Visteon Corp. in mid-2018 as director of investor relations and financial planning after nearly six years at energy company Halliburton.
Visteon’s 2019 first-quarter net income plunged 78 percent from the year prior, partly due to production challenges related to a curved in-vehicle display screen. As a result, its stock tumbled about 23 percent in one day.
Instead of staying silent, Doyle led an effort to reach out to investors and explain in detail why the company had struggled to produce the displays and why future quarters would be better. The supplier’s stock bounced back, ending 2019 up 44 percent year over year.
In addition, Doyle in late 2018 helped the organization move from issuing quarterly financial forecasts to monthly reports.
“It’s extremely important to be proactive and build those relationships with the investment community, whether it’s during good times or if there’s challenges facing the organization,” Doyle told Automotive News. “Particularly when there are challenges, it’s really important that the investors know how to contact us and that we’ll be able to provide as transparent a picture as possible.”
That strategy will again be tested this year as the industry grapples with the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic.
Doyle said Visteon would be as transparent as possible even as the situation changes quickly.
“There’s a lot of uncertainty, and things change on a day-by-day basis,” he said. “The way we’ve approached this, at least from an investor relations standpoint, is to explain as much as we can.”
Doyle hopes to eventually become CFO of a publicly traded company. He had no experience in the automotive industry, but a 2018 conversation with Visteon’s then-CFO, Christian Garcia, whom he had previously worked with at Halliburton, opened the door to his job at the supplier. He quickly fell in love with the innovations happening in the industry as companies lean more into mobility and technology.
“The automotive industry is really unique in that I think it could change quite significantly in the next 10 to 20 years,” he said. “Being part of the industry now as we go through that transition is extremely interesting to me.”
— Michael Martinez