The global COVID-19 pandemic has forced almost all of us indoors, so that we may flatten the curve and stop this deadly disease from spreading further. That said, most aspects of our lives will continue as per usual. Included in that is work and getting work done.
For most of us, this means working from home. Thank you, internet. But what if you’re the boss of a major brand who not only worries about ensuring continuity but also other things such as profitability and employee health and security? That’s exactly what we have here. Meet Stephan Winkelmann. For those who don’t know, this gentleman (pictured above) is the president and CEO of Bugatti Automobiles S.A.S.
“Even though I am now working from home like many other employees, no day is ever the same during this difficult time. However, thanks to digital processes and communication channels, we are still able to work and keep on developing our extraordinary hyper sports cars,” explains Stephan Winkelmann.
Now, while the Franco-German hypercar builder has shuttered its production effort in Molsheim – where they’re currently building the Chiron and Divo – a large number of employees are still working on-site including the facilities manager and security staff. Winkelmann, while mainly managing the company from his Strasbourg home, still has to make his way to HQ every now and then.
But what about the days he has to work from home? For those of you wondering how the president of a car company does this, wonder no longer. The daily life of the former Lamborghini boss has been briefly detailed for our amusement in a press release by Bugatti. Here’s what he gets up to.
Winkelmann starts off his day with a 7am wake up call, followed by a light breakfast and a reading of both the national and international press. “I use a range of different media to find out about what is currently going on in the world, in politics and in business. After all, I need a good overview to be able to assess the markets and general situation correctly and use this information to guide my actions,” he explains.
By 8.30 the German businessman starts to catch up on emails and gets into a Skype meeting with the extended Executive Board. “At the moment, we talk to Bugatti’s senior management team every morning so that everyone is up-to-date with the current situation in the company and how we are all doing health-wise, also including our business partners. This also involves discussing the latest global developments and how we as a company should react. If we think we need to take action, we discuss the possible solutions in this larger group. It is a joint effort and thrives on active discourse between everyone involved.”
Thereafter, it’s more meetings and phone calls with various departments such as development, sales, design and marketing. As mid-day approaches, a spot of lunch is in order, along with a side of news on TV and emails. After lunch, Winkelmann is hosting more phone conferences with various committee and departments and catches up on emails.
After business hours, the 55-year-old CEO keeps fit by getting in some exercise. Winkelmann goes running for about an hour as he can’t access the gym and pool. The evening is also when he makes private phone calls which includes his mother, and reading.
“For me, the only benefit of the lockdown is that I have more time to read in the evenings. I normally read two books in parallel, one fiction and one non-fiction. However, I am reading two non-fiction books at the moment – a biography of Charles de Gaulle and a book about the French paratrooper units during the Indochina war. There is also a book about the ‘Bugatti Queen’ on my shelf, which tells the story of the French female racing driver Hellé Nice, who drove a Bugatti Type 35 C. This book is next on my list.”
While most of us aren’t the president or CEO of a major company, this insight into Winkelmann’s daily routine is a fun comparison to our work-from-home lives and routines.