Lotus CEO Abruptly Steps Down Just as the Company is Poised to Take Flight
Jean-Marc Gales’ exit was brought about by "personal reasons"by Kirby Garlitos, on
Jean-Marc Gales abruptly stepped down from his post as the CEO of Lotus, citing “personal reasons” as the cause of his exit. The French executive has been the main man behind the sports car brand since 2014 after former CEO Dany Bahar was forced to resign after being accused of misusing company funds. Quingfeng Feng, vice president and chief technical officer of Geely Auto Group, will assume Gales’ role as CEO of Lotus.
Jean-Marc Gales’ departure is a big blow for Lotus as it comes just as the company appears headed for bigger things under the ownership of the Geely Auto Group.
Jean-Marc Gales’ departure is a big blow for Lotus as it comes just as the company appears headed for bigger things under the ownership of the Geely Auto Group. Gales assumed the role four years ago when the company was in disarray. In that time, he was credited for turning Lotus’ fortunes around from years of financial losses to one that was able to finally make a profit in 2017.
“Jean-Marc stabilized and turned Lotus to profitability for the first time in the iconic brand’s history, with new industry-leading products and unique business models since joining the company in 2014," Lotus Chairman and Chief Financial Officer Daniel Dongui Li said in a statement. "Lotus is poised for the next phase of growth under Feng Qingfeng’s leadership, where its expertise in lightweight materials and sports car engineering will form part of the wider expansion of Geely’s automotive portfolio."
Gales is set to serve as the head of JD Classics, a British dealer and restorer of classic cars
For his part, Gales also expressed confidence that Feng could continue his work and raise Lotus up to heights it has never seen before. “He is a good guy and a good choice. He can unlock the synergies which exist between Volvo, Lynk&Co, Polestar, and Lotus.”
There was no brouhaha over Gales’ sudden departure, which could be seen as a peaceful exit for a CEO who earned his role in the four years that he was with the company. In fact, he’s staying on as chief strategic advisor to the chairman, something that probably wouldn’t have happened if his departure was a little more acrimonious.
Now that he’s moving on from the British automaker, Gales is set to serve as the head of JD Classics, a British dealer and restorer of classic cars. As for Lotus, the lightweight sports car brand is working on expanding its lineup by adding two new sports cars and an SUV over the next four years, joining the list of updates to its current lineup.
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