RODOLFO DOMINGUEZ was named Vice President of Business Transformation and Chief Digital Officer of Mercedes-Benz Financial Services USA LLC last August, an appointment that heightened his leadership in the automotive financial services industry. Now leading a team of more than 90 members that is responsible for the transformational change of people, processes and technologies that accelerate the company's vision of providing a first-class digital experience for key stakeholders in the Americas region, Rodolfo is quick to remind us that his success arose from humble beginnings.
Growing up in Mexico City, he learned how to be entrepreneurial as a way of filling gaps in the family budget.
"From a very early age, I learned that a person's value is not given by how much they have materially, but by their level of contribution to others" he said in a phone interview.
As a teenager, Dominguez worked a number of jobs and also started several small businesses selling cold cuts, pottery and t-shirts at rock concerts.
"It was a tough time for the country," he said. "There were a number of downturns. I was able to learn very quickly that life has its ups and downs. And some of the folks who were selling t-shirts at the concerts were architects, doctors and dentists. During the crisis, they were out of a job and we found a way to help each other out."
Dominguez' father advised that he pursue public accounting as a career.
"I learned from my dad that this would provide me with a great foundation in terms of understanding the financial or accounting information flow of any business," he said. "And that eventually allowed me to also understand how processes and systems support organizations."
A former mentor eventually offered Dominguez a job at Mercedes-Benz Financial Services in Mexico City.
"I came over to the company 20 years ago," he said. "I started as a portfolio accountant."
Dominguez moved up in the company ranks, including as a portfolio administration manager. "We would receive requests from the business, and I would get the key stakeholders together and collaborate until we arrived at a successful solution."
The team had to be creative, Dominguez said, because of the volatile economic situation in Mexico.
"We had to find a way to remain competitive," he said, "and support our customers and dealers through the ups and downs of the economy, while still making the company profitable."
Other titles Dominguez has held at Mercedes-Benz Financial...