Tata Motors on Monday appointed Guenter Butschek, formerly chief operating officer at Airbus Group, as its CEO and managing director. The post has been vacant for two years, since Karl Slym the then MD committed suicide in January 2014.
Butschek will lead all operations of Tata Motors in India and in international markets including South Korea, Thailand, Indonesia and South Africa. He is expected to join by February 15.
The company’s British luxury Jaguar Land Rover division will continue to be managed by its CEO Ralf Speth, who is also on the board of Tata Motors, it said.
Before Airbus, the 55-year-old Butschek worked at German luxury automobile group Daimler AG for more than 25 years leading functions like production, industrialisation and procurement.
Cyrus Mistry, the chairman of Tata Motors, said that Butschek’s appointment was at an opportune time, since the company was going through “exciting yet challenging” phase.
“He brings with him rich global experience of growing organisations and developing new markets. I am confident that Butschek’s ability to lead high performing teams will enable our company to achieve sustainable, profitable growth,” said Mistry.
The post of Managing Director of Tata Motors has been vacant since the death of Karl Slym on January 26, 2014 after falling from a hotel building in Bangkok.
Butschek’s appointment and his vast experience at Daimler will be key to revving up the passenger car business, where the company has embarked on a strategy to launch two new products each year till 2020, while at the same time consolidating its leadership position in the commercial vehicle business.
For the year ended March 2015, Tata Motors reported a consolidated profit of Rs 13,986 crore, largely driven by the JLR unit. It had a loss of Rs 4,739 crore in the domestic business in 2014-15.