Former CEO of Aston Martin Offers Five Career Maxims to UVA Darden Students

10 December 2014

The University of Virginia Darden School of Business concluded its fall Leadership Speaker Series last month with a presentation from Dr. Ulrich Bez, Chair and former CEO of Aston Martin.

Bez offered five career maxims that he has applied at Aston Martin to position the company as a top maker of luxury vehicles:

  1. Never give up.
  2. Expose yourself to different cultures.
  3. Be a leader.
  4. Work strategically and creatively; do not create just for the sake of being new.
  5. Be only satisfied with your very best, but realize that perfection is the death of innovation.

Bez’s Leadership Speaker Series talk was part of his two day visit to Darden as Distinguished Executive-in-Residence. During his time at the School, Bez also presented to a consumer brands class, met with leaders of the European Society at Darden and Darden International Business Society, had lunch with members of Darden’s Retail and Luxury Goods Club, and discussed automotive careers with a group of selected students, among other activities.

Bez led Aston Martin as its CEO from 2000 to 2014. Prior to Aston Martin, he was responsible for development of the BMW Z1 as well as design and development at Porsche, where he worked on automotive icons such as the 911 Turbo, the Carrera RS 2.7, the 968 and the 993. Following Porsche, Bez was vice president of Engineering at Daewoo Motors, leading the development of models such as the Daewoo Matiz.

Under Bez’s leadership Aston Martin grew its sales more than fourfold within thirteen years; moved to a new state of the art factory; became a globally recognized brand; returned to competitive motorsport; and launched more than 20 new models, such as Vanquish; DB9; DBS; V8 and V12 Vantage; One-77; Rapide; Zagato; and CC-100.

In 2014 Bez joined Alset Global, a hydrogen automotive start-up, as vice chair and chief of Automotive Business. Bez is an avid racing driver, competing in several races such as the 24 Hours Nürburgring and the Le Mans Legend race.

About the University of Virginia Darden School of Business

The University of Virginia Darden School of Business delivers the world’s best business education experience to prepare entrepreneurial, global and responsible leaders through its MBA, Ph.D., MSBA and Executive Education programs. Darden’s top-ranked faculty is renowned for teaching excellence and advances practical business knowledge through research. Darden was established in 1955 at the University of Virginia, a top public university founded by Thomas Jefferson in 1819 in Charlottesville, Virginia.


Press Contact

Sophie Zunz
Director of Media Relations
Darden School of Business
University of Virginia