Position:                           Director of Business Development (USA)
Organization:                 Confidential
Location:                          Greater Detroit Area / Mid-West preferred

The Opportunity:

Our client is a well-funded, fast-growing organization at the forefront of the automotive technology and software sector. Due to growth, they are actively seeking a dynamic professional to assume the role of Director of Business Development. In this pivotal position, you will lead the implementation of a strategic plan, with a particular emphasis on cultivating enduring customer relationships within the Automotive industry, encompassing both OEMs and Suppliers.

As the Director of Business Development, your primary focus will be on securing new business ventures within the dynamic landscape of the US mobility markets, covering both passenger and commercial vehicles. Furthermore, you will play a key role in fostering and nurturing impactful business connections with Tier-1 Suppliers across the United States.

This role presents a distinctive opportunity to become an integral part of an exceptionally high-performing sales team and will contribute to our client’s mission of pioneering the next wave of automotive innovation.

Key Responsibilities:

  • Acquiring new businesses in the US mobility markets (including passenger and commercial vehicles).
  • Developing new business relationships with Tier-1 Suppliers in the USA.
  • Strong ability to navigate complex automotive R&D organization (i.e. in-vehicle ethernet & vehicle data teams) and mapping key groups and individuals to sponsor our product from POC to mass production cycles.
  • Utilizing existing relationships and forming new ones to develop a sales strategy for assigned accounts.
  • Develop strong relationships with executive-level decision-makers at automotive OEMs and suppliers and leverage those relationships to achieve business objectives.
  • Develop strategic sales plans based on company goals that will promote business development, sales growth, and customer satisfaction, build pipeline by engaging with key prospects and partners.
  • Develop local strategic relationships with eco-system partners and their local sales teams.
  • Establish and develop “trusted advisor” relationships with customers from the engineering team to the Director and above management team.
  • Maintain accurate account plans and forecasts (i.e. Update CRM regularly).
  • Coordinate all activities between different departments like Product Management, Engineering, Finance, and Legal.


  • Bachelor’s degree in a scientific, engineering or business-related field is preferred.
  • Minimum 15 years of proven success in selling sophisticated software, electronic components, connected car technologies, and/or other solutions.
  • Candidate must have sales experience in one or more of the following areas:
    • Real-time OS, data collection SW, ethernet and other bus (i.e. CAN/CAN-FD, FlexRay, etc) technologies, AutoSar (classic and/or adaptive), ADAS, Autonomous Driving, or Telematics.
  • Candidate must have experience selling directly to OEMs.
  • Proven track record of acquiring new account(s) in the OEM space.
  • Knowledge and experience in new product introduction cycle (POC, Pre-Prod, Mass Production, etc).
  • SOP experience with at least one OEM starting from Sales/POC stage
  • Negotiation with OEM’s (or Supplier’s) procurement department
  • Proven track record of sales experience in the automotive industry and, consistently exceeding quota and meeting strategic objectives.
  • Rudimentary knowledge of automotive E/E architecture.
  • Rudimentary knowledge of automotive data and its use cases.
  • Strong influencing, networking, and negotiating experiences and skills.
  • Demonstrated track record of developing deep strategic relationships with large, complex organizations.
  • A self-starter who can work independently to define the landscape in a rapidly changing business space.
  • A “Team Player” attitude is required, with excellent organizational skills and a proven ability to leverage internal resources.
  • Superior interpersonal, management, and communication skills are a must, specifically with regard to working in a culturally diverse business environment.
  • Ability to travel is required, including domestic and international.

About Pender & Howe Executive Search

Our client has retained Pender & Howe Executive Search to lead the recruitment initiative for their Director of Business Development recruit. Pender & Howe is a boutique executive search firm specializing in collaborating with human capital leaders, governing boards, and executives in identifying exceptional leaders.

Pender & Howe understands that a diverse workforce is essential for creating an environment that fosters creativity, collaboration, and critical thinking. We actively seek out and value diverse perspectives and encourage all who are interested to apply regardless of their background.

The Director of Business Development search is led by Travis Hann. For consideration, please email a copy of your CV in confidence to:

Travis Hann, Partner
[email protected]