K. Petroutsos (Leaseplan): What a CEO needs to have

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A new executive who wants to become CEO must be authentic, consistent, whole, have business ethics, respect and empathy. Transparency, hard work and the ability to lead by example should be highlighted throughout his career as CEO, says Mr. Costas Petroutsos, Managing Director of Leaseplan. At the same time, he emphasizes that Covid-19, which has created an environment of unprecedented challenges, seems to have functioned – and continues to function – as a catalyst for developments and trends.

– As expected during 2020, in the aftermath of the lockdowns, the car industry was dramatically affected. This trend, however, has been reversed this year. What are your estimates for the whole year?

The impact of the pandemic on the wider mobility sector has been multidimensional. In our country, as in many other markets, research has shown that the public turns to private cars. for its movements, avoiding public transport for fear of spreading the virus. This trend also gives momentum to the leasing market, as an increasing number of individuals, companies and professionals realize its multiple benefits.

In short, while Covid-19 has created an environment of unprecedented challenges, at the same time it seems to have functioned – and continues to function – as a catalyst for developments and trends. Trends in which LeasePlan had already taken the lead, even before the pandemic. One of these trends is the digitization of services, which of course has accelerated in the field of leasing. For example, in the midst of a pandemic, LeasePlan Hellas created the first e-shop for leasing in Greece, offering individuals and corporate clients a simple, relaxed and seamless online experience in which they can easily adjust their lease terms based on personalized search criteria .

– How much do you predict that the market will be significantly affected by the significant delays that are now observed in the deliveries of new cars, due to the reduction of the factory production due to the lack of chips? When do you estimate that the problem will be normalized?

The global economic and industrial upheaval caused by the Covid-19 pandemic includes the global shortage of semiconductors. Semiconductors are key components for the production of vehicles that follow the current trends and needs of the market. This shortage coincides with a parallel increase in demand for new vehicles. As a result, there are delays in the delivery of new cars and light trucks which are expected to affect the mobility industry. As LeasePlan, we provide detailed information and advice to our customers to help them find the right solutions and meet the challenges posed by the global shortage of semiconductors.

– Are there any reports that lately the leasing method seems to be gaining ground compared to the “traditional” car market? Do you share this view? And if so, where do you attribute it?

There really is a dynamic in the choice of leasing. More and more people seem to see leasing as a wise choice, especially in times of crisis, not only for commercial and corporate but also for their private vehicles. It is a solution that eliminates risk and frees up time and worries for whoever chooses it. We observe this trend from the operation of our e-shop: it becomes obvious that convenience, fast process and personalization are critical factors of turn of Greek consumers towards leasing.

In addition, today an increasing portion of citizens turn or want to turn to transportation solutions that are more environmentally friendly and find in leasing the way to do it. The long-term lease facilitates the transition to plug-in hybrid or electric cars, without anyone having to bear the total cost of their purchase, but only paying the cost of their use.

– A new executive who has the ambition to become CEO, what would you advise?

I would advise him to be authentic, consistent, whole, to have business ethics, respect and empathy. Transparency, diligence and the ability to lead by example must be highlighted throughout his career as CEO.

The new executive who has this ambition must, while moving towards his goal, work as a team, listen more than talk, accept and take advantage of the possible diversity of his associates for the benefit of the development of themselves and the company.

I would advise him to study the principles of servant leadership, the so-called inverted pyramid which has a different – and in my opinion of great value – perspective on the role of leader.

– Compliance with ESG principles is a prerequisite for an organization to even secure funding in the near future. How much have you prepared in this context and how much has your management model of your organization been affected?

Companies are increasingly putting Environment (E), Society (S) and Governance (G) at the heart of their recovery and long-term growth strategies. Businesses recognize that they need to be leveraged for positive change by supporting measures that address environmental risks as well as societal challenges.

The ESG is much more than an institutional obligation or the acquisition of a competitive advantage. At LeasePlan we are committed to making a difference and helping to build a more sustainable world, while the company’s commitment to netzerotailpipeemissions is only part of our overall approach. As a company, we have pioneered the transition to e-mobility, but we also aim to lead in other key ESG areas, such as diversity and inclusion. It is our duty to our customers, our employees and to society itself to manage our business responsibly. It is worth noting that LeasePlan ESG efforts have recently been recognized by Sustainalytics, an independent body that evaluates and rates the ESG credentials of thousands of companies worldwide.

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Source From: Forbes

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