David Linford from the UK brings a solid ‘One PPG’ approach to everything he does. As our global key account manager and strategic segment manager, he believes that only cooperation across our strategic business units (SBUs) and regions can lead to success with our customers. It is time to learn about his varied career that has helped him build a robust knowledge base and thriving network - and get inspired!
When it comes to working across geographies, good relationships, trust and teamwork are essential to make it happen!
Not Letting Anything Put Him Off His Goals
David, now our global key account manager and segment manager, has always been goal-driven. In fact, one of his earliest roles was in a commission-only sales environment where no salary or expenses were paid. This meant he didn’t earn any money unless he made a sale.
It taught me a huge amount about resilience, not letting anything put me off my goals, and how to deal with the highs and lows of my personal life without it effecting my work.
Since joining PPG in 2012, David has held six different roles across two SBUs, which have provided him with a great overview of the company and a deep understanding of our business functions and global presence. Last but not least, it has allowed him to build strong relationships within the company.
It enables me to create a solid network around me, constantly learn from others, and achieve personal and professional goals along the way.
Today, David has two roles across two segments within PPG Industrial Coatings: global key account manager for Dyson (on behalf of our Electronic Materials (EM) division) and strategic segment manager for the Appliance Market EMEA.
It’s not uncommon for him to attend meetings with colleagues from wide-ranging fields like Refinish, Aerospace or Automotive OEM Coatings, something he considers a benefit of being in a large company, but also of having a solid network.
Great Relationships in Cross-regional Collaboration
One of David’s favorite parts of his EM role is working on early-stage products that may not hit the market for several years.
It allows me to work with prototype teams to understand their requirements. Then, our technical teams can help us problem solve or, in some cases, create a whole new product.
Working with colleagues across different regions is a really important topic for David because there is a very strong ‘One PPG’ approach. He has developed positive connections with our teams in China, Malaysia and Singapore within the Appliance EMEA segment.
We have great working relationships, communication and support. We are already hosting shared virtual innovation days with customers and prospects to showcase our technologies.
An Extended Arm to Customer Businesses
David says that what makes PPG stand out in the market is its people.
I have been very lucky to have been able to travel and meet many great colleagues around the world in all the areas of our business who are making it happen. I believe that’s our real advantage.
He enjoys being involved in numerous projects at the same time, with many different customers, and gaining an even better understanding of the value we can deliver to so many businesses. Just as every project is different, he says, so too are our customers.
I have met some incredible people within our customer base who now look at PPG as more of an extended arm to their business than a supplier.
One customer, who David helped move from their old supplier to PPG, created a portrait of him made entirely out of flooring tiles and presented it to him as a thank you!
David’s Thoughts on Success and Happiness
David sees a lot of value in seeking out good mentors and he wishes he’d done so sooner in his career. He also cherishes understanding the value and effectiveness of being in a team and surrounding yourself with people who can help you grow.
While he considers himself a very target-driven person, in both his professional and personal life, he confesses that this has occasionally meant he wasn’t living in the moment.
Shaun Achor, author of The Happiness Advantage, says ‘success does not create happiness, happiness creates success’. I like this quote and find myself celebrating the small wins as much as the big ones now.