We’re publishing a series of interviews with senior leaders at Toyota GB, discussing their careers and what the future holds for the company. Our aim is to inspire the next generation of innovators. This time round we speak to Paul Van der Burgh, President and Managing Director of Toyota GB.
Hi Paul, to start us off, can you tell us about your career so far?
Paul: “I’ve been in the auto industry for almost 35 years, and in that time I’ve been lucky enough to have a variety of positions; some in the United States, some in Belgium, some in Poland and, of course, a number in the UK.”
And what attracted you to the automotive industry?
Paul: “It’s a captivating industry. Every time I’ve looked at the next position, it’s been more exciting and more interesting. The industry is always challenging so we’ve got to adapt and that’s what makes it really exciting, because when you come to the office in the morning you’re never quite sure what you’re actually going to be faced with.”
How do you like to run the business?
Paul: “There are two main philosophies. One is company culture: to try and create a really engaging place to work where employees come to the office in the morning and feel passionate about what they’re doing. The other is customer service – that is, meeting and exceeding customer needs. If I look at the leaders I’ve really respected, they’re the ones who make coming to work a great experience because highly engaged employees deliver the best customer service.”
What drives you every day?
Paul: “I never wake up in the morning other than really wanting to get into the office. I never find drive an issue. I’m very competitive as a person so I’m continually looking for better ways of doing things that provide even better results. When people come to visit us, there’s an immediate ‘wow’ factor because it’s clearly an office environment that’s very conducive to people being engaged for the company. I love the role, I love the challenges and I love the variety every day brings.”
Read more: Paula Cooper’s career journey
If you’re interested in a career in the automotive sector, visit the Toyota GB careers website here.