Linda Theisen Vice President Purchasing Fisker Automotive>

Linda Theisen Vice President Purchasing Fisker Automotive has more then 20 years at the OEM level and 6 years at a tier 1 supplier. Her broad experience in low cost country sourcing and material cost reduction in the automotive industry. Have worked in multi cultural departments with particular emphasis on European and Asian cultures. Have a reputation for exceeding expectations year over year. An excellent communicator and developer of personnel.

Who have you mentored who did someone mentor you in this industry to help you get started?
I hope I have been a mentor to many of the past people who I have worked with. For one particular stretch I was responsible for recruiting for Ford Motor and probably during this time period formed the most mentor/mentee relationships.

I have had the great fortune to have a couple of very key mentors during my career. Two stand out for me and they were both former bosses who I continue to stay in touch with and consult with them over key career decisions I have made.

As a woman what features are your favorites in a car?
Interiors are my favorite features although the total package of design, powertrain and performance is a plus.

Why does the auto industry seem like a difficult environment for females?
I think that is an old perception. The auto industry is difficult for everyone as it is a high capital intensive industry with few global players. Whether you are male or female doesn’t matter.

Why did you want to work in the auto industry?
Growing up in the Detroit area, working for one of the ‘Big Three’ was a very prestigious job to get out of college. The perception was that you would have a good job for life if you hired in to the Big Three.

First automotive job?

I was a co-op student in college for General Motors. My position was a Packaging Engineering Intern. I was hired upon graduation into GM’s Management Trainee program.

Proudest professional achievement?
I have many proud moments but the one that stands out for me is that I have had a very successful career while maintaining a 27 year marriage and raising three children (now all young adults). If I just thought about the ‘career’ piece of my life, my proudest accomplishment is helping my last company (Metaldyne) weather the economic downturn including going through reorganization (bankruptcy) and surviving and in fact being a very healthy automotive supplier now 2 years later. 

Current challenge at work?

Launching a vehicle(s), an organization, a brand and a company all simultaneously. Overwhelming and exhilarating all rolled together.

Dream job?
100% focused on coaching and mentoring the next generation.

What you do to relax?
I have been a runner for many years and now that I am living in Southern California, I am able to run outdoors, year round and most days to the beach. A dream come true for a girl from the Midwest!