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Lorre White, ‘T e Luxury Guru’ Interviews the Global CEO of Rolls Royce, Torsten Müller-Ötvös, the man behind one of the world’s most enigmatic brands


what you cannot get everywhere, is the story of the people behind the brick and mortar of our favorite brands. After all, it is their human leadership that is developing and evolving our favorite brands that ignite our passions, as the Rolls Royce hood ornament aptly called” T e Spirit Of Ecstasy” implies. T ose are the stories that “T e Luxury Guru” is famous for shedding light on; the story behind the story. T is one is about the CEO of Rolls-Royce, a man credited with the turnaround of this pedigreed brand and its impressive growth. As the other sectors of the economy hiccup and falter, the elite end of the luxury sector is booming. German born Torsten Müller-Ötvös has been Chief Executive Offi cer of the British luxury brand Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Ltd.


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ar articles that tell you torque, and mileage, and even the number of stitches in the hand sewn leather seats, are a dime a dozen, but


since March 2010. Mr. Müller-Ötvös has been with BMW Group for more than 20 years. Not surprising for a brand like Rolls-Royce that the CEO was an impeccably dressed, very buttoned up, and reserved individual. He worked his way to the top in the auto industry and is most know for his stellar success with the MINI. He held a number of management positions in the Sales and Marketing Division and was instrumental in brand and product management for MINI between 2000 and 2003. Mr. Müller-Ötvös successfully re-launched the MINI brand and internationally re-established MINI as the fi rst premium small car brand. In 2004, he assumed responsibility for central marketing and brand management at BMW. But as my fans know, I like to fi nd “the story behind the story” and so my questions were really to learn about the man at the helm of one of the single most elite brands in the luxury sector. Rolls-Royce is a marque that sets the bar by


which other brands must measure up. I started the interview with my trade mark question “How Do you defi ne Luxury?” Torsten answered, “On a material side I would say rare, something that is a collector’s item, not often seen. However, I consider the time fl y fi shing, to be a luxury too.” Torsten gave his favorite past time as fl y fi shing. He loves being in nature, away from all technology and really disconnecting from the world for a few hours. In the last several years he has taken up Hobby Cat sailing. He told me that Greece has excellent conditions for this sport due to calm seas and wind conditions and that he tries to go every year. Torsten is a man that has traveled extensively


and says his favorite place to visit is the USA because of its great diversity, “T e east coast vs. west coast, or the personalities of Miami vs. LA, or even the fact that many cities like NY you meets so many international people. T ere really is no one American type.” Given this reply,


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