Chris Wright, MD of cap hpi
After a long career in the automotive sector, he talks about leading change in a technology business with big ambitions. He talks to BQ about recruiting talent and growing an international company.
What is it the company does?
We develop data assets to keep motorists and the industry moving. Our data keeps drivers safe when buying and selling their car - as well as underpinning the loan they take and the price they get when they sell it. Leeds is home to a team of 350 people and also serves as our international innovation hub. Our parent company Solera operates in 90 countries around the world.
Describe your role in no more than 100 words
I manage a talented group of people in the UK and around the world. My job is to ensure we bring together the best people, data and technology to help our customers solve problems. It is a wide-ranging and exciting role as we create new applications for everyone from motorists to car dealers and finance houses. It’s an exciting time to be in the motor industry with rapid change in the way our vehicles are powered, the technology in them and how we own them. Our job at cap hpi is to help people anticipate and manage that change.
Give us a brief timeline of your career so far – where did you start, how did you move on?
I’ve pretty much worked in the motor industry my entire career. From University I joined Michelin Tyres as a graduate trainee. The sector has always fascinated me. After a spell at one of cap hpi’s competitors, I joined this business 7 years ago as head of key accounts before moving to sales director and, ultimately, managing director.
What do you believe makes a great leader?
I think you have to give people the vision and direction of the business. Trust and empower them to do a great job. We have worked hard to attract and retain the best people in the sector, and together we are growing around the world.
How do you alleviate the stress that comes with your job?
Whisper in Yorkshire, but as an exiled Mancunian and a lifelong Manchester United fan. Although on reflection, I’m not sure it qualifies as stress relief at the moment.
When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?
The next George Best. That didn’t work out on any level!
Any pet hates in the workplace? What do you do about them?
Our business is built on taking responsibility for your job, and we have a value set that reflects this belief. A big bugbear is people who look elsewhere to solve a problem.
Where do you see the company in five years’ time?
Our business will be operating across Europe and beyond. It will be recognised as a global leader in the automotive sector and one that is synonymous with innovation.
What advice would you give to an aspiring business leader?
Take the time to learn your craft. A deep understanding of the business and sector you work in will add value to your career and the team around you.
What do you wish someone had told you when you started out?
Change should always be embraced as an opportunity. Be brave.
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