Cazoo hires eBay and mobile.de exec Abhishek Roy as MD for Europe

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Cazoo has appointed former eBay and mobile.de executive Abhishek Roy as its European managing director ahead of its planned expansion into France and Germany.

News of the appointment comes a day after the online car retailer revealed that that the £5 billion-valued online car retailer had delivered a £69m adjusted EBITDA loss in the first half of 2021.

Roy will report to Cazoo’s group chief operating officer Paul Whitehead and will be responsible for the launch of Cazoo across, including the expansion of its current team of over 300 employees as the business begins its European expansion.

Cazoo plans to launch in France and Germany before the end of this year.

Cazoo founder and chief executive, Alex Chesterman, said: “I am delighted to welcome Abhishek to the Cazoo team.

“His experience in European automotive marketplaces and his understanding of the importance in creating and delivering exceptional customer experiences is a great match for us as we look to grow our team and deliver the best car buying and selling experience for consumers across Europe.”

Roy has 15 years’ management experience in European consumer technology businesses, with a particular focus in the automotive industry, Cazoo said.

He recently led the sale of eBay’s leading Nordic ecommerce platforms, dba and bilbasen, where he was chief executive, to the Schibsted Media Group.

Roy has also spent time as chief product officer at Germany’s largest car marketplace, mobile.de, where he helped scale the company.

He holds a degree in Economics from Cambridge University and an MBA from INSEAD and started his career as an analyst for Oliver Wyman.

Commenting on his new role with Cazoo, Roy said: “Cazoo has seen phenomenal growth and consumers have embraced the selection, transparency and convenience of buying and selling quality used cars entirely online.

“I am incredibly excited to be joining the Cazoo team to help create a world-class organisation across Europe that delivers consumers with an exceptional digital car buying and selling experience.”

Movie starring Robert De Niro filming in west Mobile

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MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) – A movie starring Robert De Niro is being filmed in west Mobile, and on Wednesday, crews were filming at several locations, including Divine Designs salon.

The film is called “About My Father,” and is set to premiere sometime in 2022.

Movie trailers and movie sets were set up in the Winn Dixie parking lot off of Airport Boulevard and Snow Road.

Andrew Miano, a producer on the movie working with Depth of Field, says they chose to shoot the movie along the Gulf Coast for economic and production reasons.

“We chose coming down to south Alabama because it offered a variety of things. The location is great and the state is very welcoming to film. The local film office also is also great and has terrific crews. Also, it’s not too busy. I believe I heard there’s 44 productions going on in Atlanta. We are currently one of two productions in southern Alabama, so the resources are here for us which is great,” says Miano.

Scenes for the movie were also being filmed in Loxley on Tuesday.

The crew will be here for several weeks shooting the film along the Gulf Coast.

De Niro ‘a real nice fellow’ says Mobile restaurateur whose business became a movie set

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A Mobile restaurateur describes actor Robert De Niro as “a real nice fellow” and “real down-to-earth” after the star spent a day filming in his west Mobile restaurant.

Comedian-actor Sebastian Maniscalco’s “About My Father” began filming in Mobile recently. The production’s focal point seems to be in Midtown, but activity has been sighted in other areas as well. The movie, co-written by Maniscalco, is loosely based on events from his own life: On the weekend when an Italian-American man (Maniscalco) plans to proposed to his fiancée, his old-school Italian immigrant father (De Niro) decides to come along. Leslie Bibb plays the fiancée and Kim Cattrall portrays her mother, a senator.

This week, De Niro shot scenes at the restaurant Honduran Kitchen, off Snow Road north of Airport Boulevard, and at a hair salon in the same general area. (In real life, Maniscalco’s father is a hair stylist; he and De Niro reportedly met so that the actor could study him for his characterization.)

“They just called me and asked me,” said owner Rick Breek. “They were looking around for a restaurant and I guess they picked me. Whoever they picked, obviously they’re not going to say ‘no.’ I said ‘yes.’”

Breek said the restaurant wasn’t in use, which made it less of a disruption. He closed early in the pandemic and has kept it closed more recently because of the general difficulty hiring restaurant staff. He’s been doing well with his food truck, Las Catrachas, he said.

One irony: The production crew fixed up his Honduran restaurant to look like a Chinese restaurant. He got the impression that at least some of the scenes being shot this week were flashbacks.

“They made a scene from the 1980s,” he said. “In the morning he was making a scene as a younger guy, so he was dressed up and put a wig on and a mustache.”

Robert De Niro, in Mobile for filming of the movie “About My Father,” is seen during work in west Mobile.Courtesy of Ester de Aguiar

“He worked all day,” Breek said. “Back and forth from the restaurant to the salon, he was swapping back and forth in clothes. He was a hard worker.”

That limited his interaction with onlookers eager for a chance to meet the star. Among them was Ester de Aguiar, executive director of the Mobile International Festival. The 38th annual event takes place in November, and de Aguiar said she said hoping to get a video clip of De Niro saying a few encouraging words for the event’s entertainers, who represent international cultures to thousands of area students. That didn’t happen; word was that there was simply no time for that kind of thing.

Breek said that when De Niro had a free second he was very gracious about taking photos with fans, including Breek’s wife, Gladys. And de Aguiar didn’t go away disappointed.

“I was really impressed,” she said. “I’m definitely biased, okay? Robert is the king in my opinion. I adore his work, so I’m definitely biased.” She favors his classic roles, she said, but enjoyed his appearance in the comedies “Meet the Parents” and “Meet the Fockers.”

“My friend’s daughter played the part of an old girlfriend in a flashback,” she said. “She pretty much spent the whole day with him and had great things to say about him. Things like really nice, down to earth, relaxed.”

“Mr. De Niro, he’s a real nice fellow” said Breek. “He is. He’s just a down-to-earth guy. … He’s outgoing, he tries to accommodate people with pictures and all that stuff but sometimes it’s not easy. He was working all day that day, unfortunately.”

Both de Aguiar and Breek said they were struck by the level of COVID security around the production.

“They have a whole COVID team on site. It’s a huge production,” said de Aguiar. “Everyone that would be there would have to have clearance through the COVID team, which required them not only to be vaccinated but also to do a COVID test.”

“They came in a couple of days prior to clean up the whole restaurant,” said Breek. “Everyone had to wear a mask to be close by, they were very strict about that.”

Based on information in a casting call for extras, the production will continue into late October.