Vestas Wind Systems A/S, the largest wind turbine makers in the world, has appointed Jean-Marc Lechêne as new Chief Operating Officer (COO). Lechêne will be in charge of Vestas’ manufacturing and sourcing and his main task will be to ensure the cost out process on key technologies in close collaboration with Vestas’ R&D unit, Vestas Turbines R&D. Lechêne will also become a member of Vestas’ Executive Management team. He will move to Denmark and start in his new position on July 1.
Lechêne has vast experience in the production industry, working in global leading companies in France, the USA, Canada and China. In previous positions, he has had the operational responsibility for several factories and the task of redefining strategy and improving profitability. Lechêne has also worked as a private consultant implementing major cost reduction projects. From 2008 to 2011, he was general director at Michelin (Heavy Weight Tires Europe). From 1993 to 2008, he held several key positions at Lafarge – the world’s second largest cement production company – latest as Executive Vice President and President of cement operations. From 1988 to 1993, Jean-Marc Lechêne worked as senior manager at McKinsey & Co in France.
Lechêne holds an MBA from INSEAD and a master’s degree from École des Mines de Paris, a leading French engineering school. Bert Nordberg, chairman of the Board of Directors of Vestas Wind Systems A/S, says “It is crucial for Vestas that our operation is lean and effective, making sure our production setup is as cost effective as possible while not compromising the quality of our products and the safety for our employees. Jean-Marc Lechêne brings in a strong background of this to Vestas, with a proven track record of results from his previous positions.”
Ditlev Engel, President and CEO of Vestas Wind Systems A/S said, “During his career, Jean-Marc has been working with several major cost out and restructuring projects, and this experience is vital for Vestas and the focus we have on ensuring that we make our key products more profitable. I also welcome Jean-Marc as part of the Vestas Executive Management team, and I look forward to the contributions he will bring to our company.”
Lechêne explained why he has accepted the position as COO for Vestas, “During my professional life I have gained a considerable experience in working with restructuring and cost out projects in large global companies and I believe this background is just the right for the situation that Vestas is now in. But I also look very much forward to working in a company that has a strong impact on the world’s future energy mix by providing products and services with industry leading quality and performance.”
The Executive Management at Vestas Wind Systems A/S will now consist of Jean-Marc Lechêne as COO, President and CEO Ditlev Engel, Chief Turbines Officer Anders Vedel, Chief Sales Officer Juan Araluce and Chief Financial Officer Dag Andresen.