Letha McLaren recently joined CloudCar’s executive team. We sat with Letha and asked her a few questions about her leadership role as CloudCar’s Vice President of Products.
As the new VP of Products at CloudCar, what do you hope to accomplish?
CloudCar has already accomplished some amazing things with a great team. I plan to build on our current market traction and help grow our business. We’ve had several successes on the product side with Jaguar Land Rover and now, I’d like to focus our efforts on the key use-cases that add value for our customers and scale our platform so that we are a turn-key offering for new OEM customers.
What important initiatives are you working on at CloudCar?
CloudCar is fusing relevant cloud-based content with AI/machine learning to deliver a truly personalized driving experience. Having just bought a new car recently, it is evident to me that this is an area that can really be revolutionized. While cars are certainly getting smarter and more connected, they are still quite far from being personalized for me. I’m excited about the technology advancements we are delivering at CloudCar.
What excites you most about the future of the connected car?
The connected car industry is emerging quickly. Rapidly changing expectations and preferences of drivers/passengers is pushing car manufacturers to evolve (and quickly), which is exciting for a product company serving the market. There is no lack of demand for our products and services, only the challenge of executing which is a challenge I enjoy.
You have held several business leadership positions. What advice would you give to someone going into leadership for the first time?
Leadership is about listening, learning and then executing. To me, this is the yin and yang of leadership. Continually listening and learning from customers, colleagues, the market, etc., then executing to constantly “test” what you have learned. Sometimes the execution is right and sometimes it’s wrong. However, the duality of doing both in a fairly tight feedback loop keeps things progressing and keeps teams motivated, involved and inspired.
Where do you find inspiration?
Both professionally and personally, I find inspiration in really productive, positive people. Regardless of occupation, profession, education, background, hobbies or interests, I like to be around really productive, positive people. I find this not only inspires me to do more, but it also helps to provide perspective – keeps me focused on what’s important instead of getting caught up in drama.