Jaguar Land Rover will soon be led by a new CEO. After holding the position for a decade, Sir Ralf Speth will be stepping down as CEO of JLR and will become non-executive chairman of the company. Set to replace Sir Speth is Thierry Bollore, the former boss of Renault.

“I am delighted to welcome Thierry to Jaguar Land Rover. An established global business leader with a proven track record of implementing complex transformations, Thierry will bring a wealth of experience to one of the most revered positions in the industry,” said Natarajan Chandrasekaran, Chairman of Tata Sons, Tata Motors, and Jaguar Land Rover PLC.

Effective September 10, 2020, Bollore will assume the role of CEO of JLR. With it, the 57-year old executive will be tasked in guiding the company through a tumultuous time amid the global pandemic. Just last month, JLR posted a GBP 422 million loss (about PhP 26.845 billion). While the company did experience positive sales in 2019, the shut down of factories, drop in demand, and stop of sales during the peak of COVID-19 affected the company greatly.

So much so that JLR's full-year sales for the fiscal year 2019-20 totaled 508,659 vehicles, which is down 12.1% down year-on-year. Not only that, but the recent pandemic has also resulted in JLR cutting 1,100 jobs. Combined with the JLR's electrification plan, and the company might lose over 4,500 jobs worlwide. Despite the grim outlook, the automaker is optimistic that they will be able to make a positive outlook soon thanks to the launch of new vehicle models and the opening of global retailers once more.

But what will Bollore bring to the JLR table? Well, the French executive will bring 30 years of experience from various positions and companies. He first started his career in 1990 when he joined Michelin. Bollore made a name for himself within the tire company by handling various truck tire related-positions worldwide.

Can former Renault boss steer Jaguar Land Rover away from losses? image

In 2005, he left Michelin and joined Faurecia, a company that specializes in automotive parts. He was appointed vice president for the exhaust systems product group for Asia, as well as vice president for Strategy, Marketing, Business Development, and R&D worldwide.

Then in 2012, he joined Renault Groupe as executive vice president for manufacturing and supply chain. He then became Chief Competitive Officer in 2013, before eventually being appointed as Chief Operating Officer in February 2018.

Amid the Carlos Ghosn fiasco which rocked the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance, he was named acting CEO of the company on November 22, 2018, before being given the position last January 2019. He only held the position for 10 months before he was ousted in a management shake-up.

“Jaguar Land Rover is known around the world for its peerless brand heritage, exquisite design, and deep engineering integrity. It will be my privilege to lead this fantastic company through what continues to be the most testing time of our generation,” said Bollore.

With Bollore set to take the helm in two months, the French executive has a tough task ahead at Jaguar Land Rover.