Dan`s phenomenal success at BMW was born out of professional setbacks.
Dan Creed, head of U.S. marketing for BMW North America
Born in Collingwood, Ontario and raised in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Dan Creed saw the University of Ottawa, situated right in the heart of the nation’s capital, as a cultural “lighthouse.” It was the first time he’d ever even heard French spoken aloud, but six months after arriving, he was bilingual. What amazed him most was that most Francophones on the campus managed that feat in only four.
The Canadian political scene when Dan attended uOttawa in the 1980s, coupled with his studies in political science and history, opened his eyes to a broader world view. He particularly remembers Professor Lawrence Jennings and Professor Davis, whose insightful and probing approaches to their subject matter would prove influential in his later career in BMW.
More than just “job training,” the broadened perspective and analytical skills—along with a passion for academia—that Dan cultivated at university would come in handy when he was working with BMW’s corporate offices throughout Europe.
Nevertheless, Dan`s phenomenal success at BMW was born out of professional setbacks. Fresh out of university with a bachelor’s degree, Dan vividly remembers stalking the corridors of bank buildings in downtown Toronto, handing out resumes like they were flyers and being met with nothing but rejection.
He settled on working as a car salesman at a dealership in downtown Toronto. It didn’t even sell BMWs. But the job gave him valuable experience working in the automotive industry, and when he joined BMW Canada in 1996 as a sales and marketing training manager, he quickly advanced to the head of marketing. And then, national sales manager. In 2003 he emigrated to the U.S. Three years later, he was appointed BMW VP for the southern region, and in October 2010, he was named new head of U.S. marketing.
Perhaps what Dan enjoys most about his job is the prestige associated with the product. BMW is a brand so beloved that customers know as much about the products as the employees do—if not more.
So, still in his 40s, Dan already considers his goals in both life and career not just met but surpassed. When he’s not introducing a new line of electric cars to the market or managing the BMW brand, Dan spends his time golfing, travelling, and of course, spending time with his wife Jennifer (whom he met while attending the University of Ottawa), their three kids and their dog named Jersey.
Oh, and his car of choice? BMW, of course. The 2000 BMW Z8 to be more specific. If cars aren’t your strong suit, all you need to know is that the car happened to be good enough for James Bond too.