What do you do exactly?
It's quite simple: I have the best job, working the best factory, for the best company in the world. I run the leather shop at Rolls-Royce. So, my guys basically build the best quality interiors for the highest profile customers in the world. What’s not to love? It’s a brilliant job. You meet so many people, whether it's customers specifying their cars or working with the design team, it’s all great. I’ve been in the car business for a long time, but this is without doubt the best thing I could possibly do. It’s fantastic.
What have those five years been like with the company?
I’ve been running the leather shop for five years, but I’ve been with Rolls-Royce for 11. So, I basically came to the company when it was just a project. BMW had taken the brand over from VW, or the Vickers company, and Bentley and Rolls-Royce were split up. I joined shortly after that. And then I joined the team that was setting up the manufacturing process, so I’ve been involved since day one of those cars.
What were you doing before?
I was with With General Motors, working throughout Europe and ended up in Switzerland. I was bouncing around between there and flying around the world doing all sorts of great stuff. The company that I went back to that was part of GM got outsourced, so I was looking for a job when a headhunter called asking if I fancied working for a little niche operation on the South Coast.
Absolutely. You know, it’s not a hard decision to make. Working with GM was good, there were some good guys there. I still keep in touch with a lot of them, but it’s not like working for Rolls-Royce.
Were you doing leather work for them as well?
I was basically a production guy. I’ve been an engineer for most of my life, so engineering and then production management. When you’re running production areas, the technology can change, but the people remain the same. I’m a people manager, so I’ve got about 200 people right now, which is about the biggest team within Rolls-Royce Motor Cars. We need a lot of people building good interiors.