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Alex Janssens gives his staff the freedom they need to decide themselves how they want to achieve the goals set. He doesn’t have a great deal of free time, but at the weekend he likes to be in the kitchen preparing delicious, healthy family meals. He also enjoys watching football matches when his son is called in as referee.
He studied commercial sciences at the European College in Brussels. Just after that, he became a controller at Mazda and in 1998 he was given a major promotion in the accounts department. From 2002 until April 2006, he got to know more about logistics and from 2006 to 2013 he headed the European Financial Services department. Since March 2013, he has been CIO. When Jorgen Olesen retired in March, Alex took over Jorgen’s tasks for Parts Supply & Logistics as well.
Motor Logistics Europe (MLE), is the logistics hub for Mazda in Europe. MLE supplies parts to 2,300 Mazda dealers in Europe via 22 national sales organizations. These national sales organizations also count on MLE in Willebroek for IT and financial services.
Over 400 people from 16 countries work at MLE. The 60 staff in the finance department take care of finance analyses, bookkeeping, purchasing, pricing, vehicle ordering, billing and treasury. The team of 60 in the IT department in Willebroek lend online support throughout Europe.
Between Jacques Rogge and Halle Berry. Above all, I’d like to know how Jacques Rogge – the sportsman, doctor and director – approached the task of pushing through his vision as president of the International Olympic Committee (2001 – 2013). With the lovely Halle Berry, I’d like to talk about racism in Hollywood. She was the first actress of Afro-American descent to win an Oscar (‘Monster’s Ball’, 2002).
They don’t know much, because I deliberately keep my professional life and my private life separate. But they know how I think and how I want to lead and direct the department. If anyone wants to get to know me a little better, I can reveal that I’m not a handyman. You shouldn’t come to me to get chores done. But if you’re looking for someone to cook, then I’m ready and willing.
As a member of the European management team, I have to make sure that the goals and strategy of the two departments I lead are aligned with overall policy. It’s not just a question of drawing up a plan of implementation. I also have to translate the vision so that the plans can be carried out by the teams. Guidance is key. Both top-down and bottom-up. My job is mainly to provide support. Creating the right team spirit is very important here.
The current CFO at Mazda Corporation, Akira Koga. He helped me when I was promoted in the accounts department in 1998. Akira taught me how to manage a financial department and that giving up is not an option.
It’s difficult to single out just one trend. It’s mainly the speed at which it is all happening that is unprecedented. It’s about creating the right mindset and using the new developments as well as possible.
I prefer a flexible working system wherever possible. Our managers arrange that as they wish. There must be room to meet and work at the office, but also for concentrated work in the most suitable location.
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