So, during 31 years of working in the field, you must have learned an immeasurable amount. What’s one piece of advice you’d give to yourself as a young man, knowing what you know today?
I think that what I learned over the years is that change is inevitable, but people will always try to stay in the past. I would tell myself to embrace the challenges of change—even when you say “Okay, physics is physics,” you need to be always trying to move the limits, to move the limits ahead. It’s so common to say to yourself, “Okay, it’s impossible, let’s face it,” and that stops so many people from achieving great things, but in reality it’s that impossibility that frees you to think really creatively about a problem. Those are the challenges you need to be taking when you’re young, taking on the impossible.
What’s one of the biggest engineering challenges you’ve run into in your career?
I think it was in my time in Porsche, taking a brand that had become so known for one type of product [sports cars] and expanding into an entirely new category where we not only wanted to compete, but to lead. The SUV was by far the biggest challenge in my time at Porsche. And I think it will be my biggest challenge at Bentley. Any time that you take a brand with rich history and structure and focus and expand, it’s a huge undertaking. But it’s that challenge that will pay off for Bentley as it has for Porsche.