From the mobility industry's impending "profit desert" to maintaining business excellence. Alexandre Marian, Managing Director of AlixPartners

AlixPartners offers a wide range of services to help companies successfully address their most complex and critical challenges. Could you tell us more about these services?

AlixPartners is well known for its work in restructuring as this often makes the front page of the newspapers. We have been involved in many high-profile engagements such as General Motors turnaround during the 2009 downturn as well as the Thomas Cook bankruptcy last year.  However, this is only the tip of the iceberg. Our service offerings span a broad range of business expertise and can be applied to a broad spectrum of industries such as automotive or restaurants. We cover many specialties from helping clients with their most pressing issues such as growth, operations, as well as handling business disputes. What truly differentiates AlixPartners is the breadth and depth of our people; we have a “senior model” where our consultants are true experts in their field and partner hand in hand with our clients to quickly deliver results.

I am specialized in the Automotive and Mobility industries and head our efforts on the future of mobility globally. I typically work on engagements helping clients with their challenges from how to think and execute investments for the future as well as transform operations.


You are a supporter of the FACCSF’s “Mobility Dinner”. What do you think of this initiative? How else does AlixPartners contribute to the French-American business community?

The Mobility Dinner is a fantastic initiative that is at the core of the FACCSF mission and I am delighted to support it. This initiative helps bring the mobility community in the Bay area together to discuss important issues of the coming years as well as develop a network of experts in the field. All attendees have been delighted by the exchanges and we can’t wait for the next dinner to continue sharing our perspective.

AlixPartners contributes to the French-American business community in the Bay Area and North America overall as we work with many multinational companies that are either headquartered in France or have business in France. Our Paris office is also very much involved with the French-American business community. At last, in addition to advising our clients, I see AlixPartners team members as brokers between business in the two countries. I myself have lived and worked in Paris, Chicago and San Francisco where business communities are extremely diverse and can see the value of “connecting the dots”.


What is the impending “profit desert” that AlixPartners has identified for the mobility industry? How can industry players navigate it successfully?

The Automotive and Mobility industries are facing major disruption that is poised to transform the industry by a magnitude we have not seen since the advent of the Automobile in the beginning of the XXth Century. Massive spending on new technologies and stagnation in key markets threaten to throw the automotive industry into a "profit desert”. The requirement to invest in connected, autonomous, shared, and electric (CASE) vehicle technologies comes at the same time that sales are predicted to slow, especially in the US, and weighting very heavily upon automakers, suppliers, and other industry players for an extended period of time. Finding the path that will allow players to emerge from this “Profit Desert” will be determined by the actions taken today to proactively transform approaches and operations. These are the topics that are key to our clients and we advise them on. We will dive deeper into these topics during our next Mobility Dinner.


AlixPartners was recently honored as a “Best Firm to Work For” by Consulting magazine. How is that important for your company?

AlixPartners has experienced continued growth over the years and our business model is built on the premise that we attract and retain the best individuals with very specialized skills. This is especially true in a market where we are growing and facing tough competition for talent. We have been working hard to ensure that our team is working in a positive environment and receiving the best support for their development. AlixPartners early on took the step of developing a set of core values to ensure that we create this positive environment. Receiving the “Best Firm to Work For” award is an honor and a great recognition of these efforts. We strive every day to build on this success and remain the “Best Firm to Work For”


What are your challenges for the coming years?

My key challenges are two-fold. First, I need to continue to grow our practice and help my clients in their most pressing issues. As I previously pointed this requires a few elements such as a great team, and a continued development of experience and intellectual capital that is relevant to our clients. This is a requirement to remain a trusted advisor.

Secondly, while my work is demanding and extremely fulfilling, I also want to manage my personal life: I have two young children who go to the Lycée Français and both my wife and I have a very busy life. Balancing work and life is a long-term requirement for personal success and we want to be thoughtful about it.

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