Alex Castellarnau


Alex is a Product and Design Executive with over twenty years of experience building and leading creative teams and unlocking the power of user-centered design in organisations.

In his most recent professional endeavour, Alex was Vice President of UX/UI at NIO USA, an automotive startup where he lead the user experience team designing autonomous vehicles. His responsibilities included concepting the first US-market vehicle and developing the digital experience for NIO’s first L4 autonomous vehicle for the US (ie. UX scope included, but not limited to in-car screens and controls, AI design and voice interface, complementary and stand-alone mobile apps). He also led his team to overhaul and redesign the digital experience for the first EV developed by NIO China, the NIO ES8. The new designs launched with the vehicle in China in June 2018. In parallel to the responsibilities within the domain of user experience, Alex was an integral member of the executive team that together grew NIO from a team of 70 people in the US and China to a global team of over 8,000 employees across offices in San Francisco, Shanghai, Heffen (Belgium), London and Munich in less than three
years. NIO went public on NYSE in September 2018.
Previous to NIO, Alex was Head of Design at Dropbox, where he led the transformation of the Product Design team into a fully fledged User Experience team. He secured leadership buy-in to add user research, brand design, content strategy, and design operations into the design org. This resulted in the creation of a truly user-centered design organisation, expanding the team from 20 product designers to around 100 multi-disciplinary UX professionals. As a company executive, Alex was part of the leadership team that grew the company from 200M to 1B users over the span of two years. Dropbox went public on NASDAQ in May 2018.
Before joining Dropbox, Alex was a Creative Director at IDEO, an award-winning, international design and consulting firm founded in the Silicon Valley. At IDEO, Alex lead a wide range of projects that helped client organisations unlock their innovation potential by leveraging the principles of user-centered design. His work spanned advisory work, the development of product and service design initiatives, and innovation capacity building and organisation design for Fortune 500 client companies in a diversity of industries such as financial services, health and wellness, entertainment, transportation, work productivity, professional services, consumer goods, and education.