Proton Holdings Berhad (Proton) announced the appointment of Jean-Marc Gales as the new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Group Lotus.

Gales is set to replace Aslam Farikullah, who will remain as Member of the Board of Lotus Cars Limited and “will continue to contribute to the growth of the business in the future,” Lotus said in a press release.

Gales is not new to the automotive industry as he has held several significant positions with a number of car manufacturers.

Before his new appointment at Lotus, Gales was the CEO of the European Association of Automotive Suppliers (CLEPA) since 2012. He turned around the association with various strategic initiatives in working processes and by increasing corporate members from 82 to 112.

Gales also worked with the European Parliament and European Commission and contributed to define the Industry Research & Innovation Strategy and Roadmap for 2025.

Furthermore, Gales was the President of Automobiles Citroen and Automobiles Peugeot between 2009 and 2012.

During his tenure at PSA Peugeot Citroen, Gales restructured the entire sales value chain and implemented a new strategy for the DS line. Gales was also the man responsible for introducing the Citroen DS in major markets around the world and in return the company delivered record retail sales in 2009 and 2010.

Gales also held several senior positions in Daimler AG, General Motors and Volkswagen AG.  

In a press release, Proton CEO Dato’ Abdul Harith Abdullah said he is pleased to have Gales to the group.

"This is an exciting time for Lotus, and Jean-Marc's appointment could not have come at a more appropriate time, especially taking into account our plans for Lotus. We believe that with his strong technical and managerial expertise and leadership, Jean-Marc will be able to drive the Lotus transformation plan and further enhance Lotus' business and capabilities,” Abdullah said.