With Lookers continuing to defy the market and grow its dealership portfolio with key acquisitions, we find out a bit more about one of the most instrumental figures behind it all, CEO Andy Bruce.
While it may be a cliché to say that petrol runs in his blood, it’s fair to say that Andy’s experience in the motor industry is enviable, having started out as a graduate trainee at Land Rover 32 years ago.
Eager to make his mark, Andy’s rapid ascent soon saw him become Sales Director for Land Rover in the UK. He joined Lookers in 2000, initially running the Northern Ireland Business before being quickly being appointed to the board in 2002.
In March 2010 Andy was appointed Managing Director of the Motor Division and Chief Operating Officer in March 2013. He became Group Chief Executive on 1st January 2014.
With Lookers coping admirably with current market pressures and posting half year results that are the envy of the motor industry, what are Andy’s leadership secrets?
Following his inclusion in the Glassdoor Highest Rated CEOs in the UK last year, Andy said in an interview:
“It’s about inspiring people to maximise their potential. It’s important to set the cultural tone and to set the vision and strategy clearly. After that, get out of the way and let people manage through empowering within a developed framework.”
It’s this complete trust in a highly skilled workforce that has resulted in much admiration for Mr Bruce, fostering a culture of mutual appreciation and a primary set of shared values that now lie at the heart of everything that Lookers do.
Whether it’s introducing a 12 month maternity leave for expectant mums or simply celebrating staff birthdays, Lookers has created a family orientated atmosphere which Andy believes creates the best results.
He says: “I always try to catch people doing things right as opposed to the other way around. I think being approachable is important and listening to our people who have got more good ideas than I will ever have. Finally, being honest with people and challenging the subject matter is what builds trust.”
As well as making the right decision at the right time, Andy is one of the most personable CEOs you could ever meet. He’s also one that still harbours the same passion for the industry that he had 32 years ago
He says: “I love it as much today as the day that I started, if not more so as I’ve learnt so much along the way that I can now apply to the job. Not at one moment have I been bored – we sell a very sexy product after all!”