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CEO Spotlight: Adient’s Doug Del Grosso

Doug Del Grosso is the president and chief executive officer of Adient. MICHauto spoke with Del Grosso about his priorities as an automotive executive and the Adient’s workplace culture.

What is your number one priority as CEO?

Adient’s vision is “improving the experience of a world in motion.” As CEO, I want to help the team deliver on that vision for our customers, employees, and shareholders. We do this by following our guiding principles. These principles identify the areas that will drive Adient forward while focusing on what is most important: customers, quality, people, community, and financial discipline. Focusing on continuous improvement in these areas guides and informs our business strategy and our culture.

What is an important lesson you learned early in your career?

When I was just starting out in my career and in the automotive business, a successful leader in the industry once told me, “there is no such thing as a dead body; choose your enemies carefully.” What he meant is that relationships are important. Automotive people tend to stay in automotive – they may change companies or roles, but you never know where your paths may cross again. His advice stayed with me and made me aware of how important it is to treat everyone you deal with with respect.

How would you describe the culture in your organization?

I’m very proud of the culture we have at Adient. We are creating an entrepreneurial environment where people feel empowered and responsible for the performance of the company. We work hard to engender an ownership mindset that inspires the right behaviors and actions from everyone.  That means treating each decision and expenditure as if it were for your own business or household. Accountability and mutual respect are the keys to building this culture of empowerment.