Entrepreneurs Forever 2014 | Version française

Marc Ouayoun

General manager of Porsche France

His youthful passion led to passion for management.

Marc Ouayoun's career shows that by no means do you become General Manager of Porsche France through sheer luck. It is the result of an unconditional attraction for the brand, unlimited determination and... enormous commitment.

He was 13 when he visited the French Motor Show and pulled up short in front of the Porsche stand. « If you work hard at school, one day, you'll be able to buy one. » a Porsche manager told him, and gave him a pile of brochures that set him dreaming. « In my Franco-German family, Porsche represented the beautiful Engineer's car, with a powerful design. »

I was geared towards the automotive field through passion and I discovered management and the freedom to act in a company which was on a human scale.
I advise young people to choose companies which aim for excellence and encourage the transmission of knowledge and skills, because these are the ones who give people their chance and the space to thrive.

As a student at EMLYON, he specialised in marketing and did a trial run with Peugeot, as the assistant of the Manager for the French market. When he left in 1995, the chances of a job with Porsche were slim, since the company had... stalled. Marc Ouayoun chose Mercedes and for ten years he linked turn after professional turn in France and in Europe. He began sales promotion, turned off towards Stuttgart to participate in a highly innovative project (for the time) in European CRM, before going back to the racing team ‘’Customer relations” in London. « The Head of the customer acquisition and loyalty programme had relocated a multicultural team which worked like a start-up, at the heart of strategy. »

He came back to France in 2001 to do the retail training circuit, the fast track to the dealerships. As Manager of a Smart centre in the west of Paris, he discovered the customers, the sales teams, sales prospecting methods, and the organisation of the show-rooms. « After a highly privileged expat experience, I came back to a rather complex situation; I learned management a little painfully, by just getting on with it! » He filled up his tank with good results, and accelerated in the direction of the five sites of the Paris region, with, as his road map, the doubling of sales, at a time when the four-door and the Roadster models were being launched. « It was a great time for development; I became a real Head of an SME, one of the youngest at Mercedes. »

But he still hadn't forgotten his love for Porsche, to whom he declared his undying passion every three years, « to try and give a hand to destiny ». At the end of 2005 he learned that his favourite brand was looking for a Sales Manager for France. « On paper, I really didn't have the best profile; it was a new job for me, market analysis, planning and stock management, sales promotion; there were a lot of in-house applicants, and outsiders, but I was really motivated. »

He manoeuvred during the two months of the recruitment process to assert his ten years of racing... successfully. « I got myself really fired up, working day and night for the first few months when I was learning the ropes. »

Porsche was driving out a long-term strategy to become the N°1 constructor of sports cars in the world: and Marc Ouayoun put his foot down and gained access to general management in 2012, fuelled up on challenges and team performance.

Two years later, he had 37 exclusive Porsche centres under his bonnet and €300 million in annual sales, and this particularly demanding ‘’dream job’’ by no means put the brakes on his feelings for the brand.
Of course, he drives a Panamera, but he also has parallel links to his old cars, an old DS and a VW Beetle which he enters in rallies.

EM Lyon: Grande Ecole 1995
Translation : Carole Bausor, ILTC
Date de parution : 12/09/14