Tata Motors Ltd, India’s biggest automaker by revenue, has named former Airbus chief operating officer Guenter Butschek its CEO and managing director.
Butschek, 55, will join the company by February 15, Tata Motors said in a statement.
The appointment comes two years after the death of the company’s then managing director Karl Slym. Since then, the company’s operations were overseen by Cyrus P Mistry, chairman of Tata Motors as well as the Tata Group.
Butschek will lead all operations of Tata Motors in India and international markets including South Korea, Thailand, Indonesia and South Africa.
Jaguar Land Rover, the UK maker of luxury cars that Tata Motors acquired in 2008 for $2.3 billion, will continue to be managed by its CEO and director Ralf Speth, who is also on the board of Tata Motors. Jaguar Land Rover accounts for two-thirds of the company’s consolidated revenue of $42 billion.
Butschek’s main challenge will be to turn around Tata Motors. The Tata Group company is going through a rough phase as it has clocked losses in five of the seven quarters ended September 30, 2015.
In his most recent role, Butschek was with Airbus Group SA, the world’s second-largest aircraft maker, where he served as chief operating officer and was a member of the group executive committee.
Prior to that, he worked at German automobile company Daimler AG for 25 years in international automotive management, and led functions like production, industrialization and procurement. His last role there was as president and CEO of Beijing Benz Automotive Co Ltd, a joint venture between Daimler and Beijing Automotive Industrial Holding in China.
Butschek graduated in business administration and economics with a diploma from the University of Cooperative Education Stuttgart, Germany.