Norfolk-based Group Lotus announces new chief executive officer

Jean-Marc Gales and current Group Lotus COO Aslam Farikullah

Jean-Marc Gales and current Group Lotus COO Aslam Farikullah - Credit: Archant

Proton has announced the appointment of Jean-Marc Gales as the new chief executive officer of Hethel-based Group Lotus.

Gales, a Luxembourgian, holds a MSc in management from London's Imperial College, and a MSc in mechanical engineering from the University of Karlsruhe in Germany.

A known industry player, Gales has held several significant positions with numerous global automotive manufacturers.

Prior to his appointment at Lotus, a wholly owned subsidiary of Proton, Gales was CEO of the European Association of Automotive Suppliers where he played a key role in turning around the association through various strategic initiatives.

These included streamlining the working processes and increasing corporate members from 82 to 112. Gales also established a lobbying strategy with the European Parliament and European Commission.

Previously, Gales, who is married with one daughter, was president of Automobiles Citroen and Automobiles Peugeot between 2009 and 2012.

His achievements there included implementing a new brand strategy for the DS Line and introducing the Citroen DS in major markets around the world. During his tenure, the company delivered record retail sales in 2009 and 2010.

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Gales' other appointments include several senior positions in Daimler AG, General Motors and Volkswagen AG.

Aslam Farikullah, current chief operating officer of Group Lotus plc, remains as member of the board of Lotus Cars Limited and will continue to contribute to the growth of the business in the future.

Proton CEO Dato' Abdul Harith Abdullah said: '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.'