Fuelling Ideas At SEAT

André Radon, head of SEAT:Code since September 2022
(previously CIO of SEAT).

18 CIOmovers followed the invitation of André Radon at SEAT:CODE facing „La Rambla“ in Barcelona. The former CIO of SEAT is head of Volkswagen´s digital spinoff since two months. Here´s how a 60 year old manager keeps up the startup culture.

At SEAT:CODE, the boss taps the beer himself. And also washes the glasses later, on this Sunday evening above the rooftops of Barcelona.  Just like the rooftop bar, André Radon keeps his desk clean so that another of the 300 developers can sit there tomorrow. In the Volkswagen Group’s digital subsidiary, things are supposed to be just like in a start-up – even though CODE is no longer one.

In the case of start-ups, we would at least talk about financing phase two. Strictly speaking, phase one didn’t really exist either. CODE has been making a profit since it was founded in 2020, at least according to Sebastian Grams, the ex-CIO of SEAT who started CODE. By 2025, at least one per cent of SEAT’s total EBIT will be generated with software, he explained in an interview with CIO magazine and reiterated this statement during his appearance at the Hamburg Strategy Days 2021, see SEAT:CODE: SEAT-CIO Grams will mit Software Geld verdienen – cio.de

Grams is now Managing Director of Audi Sport in Neckarsulm, somewhat closer to the centre of power in the Volkswagen empire. André Radon, who broke out of the corporate structures towards the end of his career, manages the hardships of the plains for him. CODE on the Ramblas ticks differently from Volkswagen in Wolfsburg, where Radon spent many of his 28 years in automotive IT. In the meantime, there are also critics there who calculate CODE’s profit quite differently than Grams or Radon. The fact that ten per cent of it does not even come from the company is viewed critically in some quarters. “The Empire strikes back,” Radon calls this phenomenon.

He doesn’t care. First of all, it’s nice to only have to climb one flight of stairs to smoke.

Attending on the roof terrace in Barcelona on 6 November, from front left:
Ulrich Kipp, Gartner; Ulrich Arnold, GKV Informatik (the service provider of AOK, Barmer et al.)­; Nadia Tazi, Renault; Carsten Sapia, BMW; Carsten Bernhard, eDreams ODIGEO; from back left: Maik Schulz, Norma (German car supplier); Stefan Brock, HPE; Nicole Burhenne, Salesforce; Marc Votteler, Schaeffler; André Radon, SEAT; Andreas Becker, Daiichi Sankyo (Japanese pharmaceutical company); Christian Neugebauer, AVL (Austrian car supplier); Andreas Garstecki, Grünenthal Pharma; Matthias Moritz, CIOmove-Ambassador in Barcelona and Nour-dine Hajjami, Bank Al-Maghrib. Missing on the Photo: Kristina Dedikov and xxxxx yyyyyyy, SEAT:Code; Christoph Heiss, Zumtobel; Thomas Reitz, Norma; Claudia Plattner, European Central Bank.