Staying alive in the automotive industry is tough. The best of the best have repeatedly said this. It is obvious that the automotive industry is relying heavily on the conventional fuel which is not sustainable for very long. The industry suppliers are slowly waking up to the possibility of electric vehicles becoming the norm in the near future. Innovation is the only way to survive the present scenario as the fuel prices inflate and the demand changes. Valeo is one of the first companies that saw this coming. At the helm of its ship was its CEO Jacques Aschenbroich driving it towards producing automotive parts in an environment-friendly way.
Born in the bustling city of Lyon, France, on 3rd June 1964, Jacques Aschenbroich has led an interesting life that has spanned over different fields. He is the CEO and the Chairman of the Board of Directors at Valeo, the leading global automotive supplier. Along with holding the leading position at Valeo he currently serves on the boards of BNP Paribas and Veolia. He is also the chairman of the board of directors at MINES Paris Tech.
Mr. Aschenbroich is an engineering graduate from the prestigious École des mines which is known for its splendid research related work. He finished his training here as Corps de Mines engineer and went on to work for the French administration. Mr. Aschenbroich started his civil service stint as Deputy Regional Director in the city of Lorraine in 1982. The next year he was needed to direct the economic division there. He served as the commissioner and the deputy regional delegate for the region for the next two years. Then he went on to work as the region’s Secretary General of Interministerial Committee to assist in localizing activities and also as the Team Coordinator for localizing industrial and tertiary activities.
In 1987, he joined the Prime Minister’s Cabinet as a member of the cabinet. He served as the member of Prime Minister Jacques Chirac’s Cabinet as the technical advisor for the nation’s industrial affairs until 1988.
Making the switch
He made a switch from civil service to the industry in 1989 when he was recruited by the Saint-Gobain Group. His industrial career at Saint-Gobain saw him serve the company in several positions. Starting from 1989 he was in charge of managing the subsidiaries in Brazil and Germany. Subsequently, in 1996, he was chosen as the chairman of Saint-Gobain Vitrage. He served as the Senior Vice-President from 2001 to 2008. From 2007 onwards he served as the Vice-Chairman for the U.S and Canada. He ran the operations of the group from the same year. He joined Valeo a year later in 2009.
He could have gone several ways had he wanted to. He had several offers on his table but he chose Valeo in 2009. Joining as the CEO he developed strategies to reduce CO2 emissions. Valeo has seen a significant rise in its market valuation since Mr. Aschenbroich joined the company. The company’s stock value soared by more than three times since his entry into the company.
Valeo started way back in 1923 in Saint-Ouen, France. Then, Valeo was called Ferodo. Ferodo produced clutches and own friction materials initially. In the 1960s the company went through a massive expansion that took it all over Europe. The company rebranded itself as “Valeo” at its Annual Shareholders Meeting in 1980.
The company now, on the verge of reaching its centenary year has become the world’s leading automotive supplier. Valeo now works on supplying visibility systems, powertrain systems, thermal systems and comfort, and driving assistance systems. It operates in 33 countries and partners with automakers worldwide. Presence of Mr. Aschenbroich has made the company look more into green solutions and become more environment-friendly.
Jacques Aschenbroich has won many honors in his lifetime. Topping the list would be the Legion of Honor which is the highest order of merit given to those who have contributed the highest of services in the military and civil service in France. He was also presented the National Order of Merit by the President.
Valeo surges ahead under the leadership of Jacques Aschenbroich, designing and producing innovative solutions for smart mobility. It will continue to grow as electric mobility becomes more and more of what we use to move around every day and at the same time help cut the CO2 emissions.
While most of us pass through our lives knowing and speaking just one language, Mr. Aschenbroich has been known to be good with several!
Along with his native language, Mr. Aschenbroich is fluent in English, German and Portuguese. Moreover, he also picked up on Indonesian when he served in Indonesia for the French Military early in his life.
"The automobile industry is today one of the most innovative sectors."
“With electrification we will multiply the value that we add to cars from two to seven, depending on the solutions. With autonomous driving, we will multiply the value by 10.”