'Bolloré's strategy is already having a good impact on Jaguar Land Rover'

Steve Fowler says JLR CEO Thierry Bolloré's new approach is working wonders

Opinion JLR Thierry Bollore

The appointment of Thierry Bolloré as JLR chief executive last summer raised a fair few eyebrows. It came completely out of the blue, not least for Bolloré. 

“I was about to fly over to New York in a completely different type of business,” he told me this week. “I said, ‘Wow, of course’. With these brands for a car guy – or a mobility person, which is probably more my case – frankly speaking, this is just extraordinary.”

You can read more about Bolloré’s product plans for Jaguar and Land Rover in our exclusive interview, but while it’s going to take some time to see his changes filter through to the showroom, his Reimagine strategy is already having an impact on the business and its people – to good effect.

“Reimagine is a co-construction – it’s not one person,” he said. “It’s teamwork that has finalised and become Reimagine, and the refocused transformation plans for the business are already taking effect.”

Where some new CEOs make major changes at board level, Bolloré has taken a different approach. “Yes they are more or less the same people, but the role they have has changed a lot,” he said. “You take Nigel Blenkinsop, who’s in charge of global quality and customer satisfaction. If you ask him what the difference is between before and after – wow, it’s almost a different job. 

“You can say the same for Gerry [McGovern, JLR’s chief creative officer]. Today he has an impact on the company that is even greater than in the past.”

Shuffling the pack is only part of the job, but speaking to some of the key players, it’s clear there’s a refreshing new approach to management that’s put a spring in their step and a smile on their faces – the sun is shining on JLR.

As it is on Bentley, and my warmest congratulations go to Adrian Hallmark for topping this year’s Auto Express Brit List. The effect Hallmark has had on Bentley and its staff is huge and proof that great management boosts not only the business but also the people who power it.

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