Valeo Group | 18 Dec, 2020 | 4 min

Passing of Noël Goutard, Valeo Chairman and Chief Executive Officer from 1987 to 2000

Paris, December 18, 2020 – Jacques Aschenbroich, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Valeo: “It is with great sadness and emotion that we learned today of the passing of Noël Goutard, Valeo’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer from 1987 to 2000. Our first thoughts are with his family and loved ones. Noël Goutard will be remembered as the founding father of Valeo as we know it. Even today, the Group continues to benefit from his incredible legacy. A visionary industry titan, Noël Goutard led a sweeping transformation that brought Valeo into the modern world, actively contributing to its growth and international expansion. He was also a brilliant man, whose exceptional leadership qualities shaped Valeo into one of the largest automotive suppliers in the world.”

Noël Goutard took the helm of the Group on January 1, 1987. He quickly refocused operations on the core automotive business, disposing of activities such as construction material production, steelmaking and industrial equipment, and acquiring Neiman as well as Chausson’s thermal systems business. In 1988, he was behind the decision to establish “Valeo” as the Group’s sole trade name.

As someone who immediately understood the importance of helping automakers expand internationally, Noël Goutard also worked hard to make Valeo a global company. Among other achievements, his time with the Group saw it take its first steps in Germany, Spain, the United States, Japan, China and South Korea.

Under Noël Goutard’s stewardship, Valeo’s expertise grew to encompass new skill sets, helping to transform the Group into a tech leader. This is especially true in electronics and mechatronics, thanks to the 1991 creation of the Group’s first electronics research center in the Paris suburb of Créteil.

Noël Goutard will also be remembered for developing the “5 Axes” method, which went on to become the cornerstone of Valeo’s operational excellence and is still rigorously applied at every Group site.

Noël Goutard’s management prowess and visionary outlook earned him several awards. French business weekly Le Nouvel Economiste, for example, named him Manager of the Year in 1993, and automotive trade magazine Le Journal de l’Automobile crowned him Man of the Year in 1997.

In 13 years, Noël Goutard made an extraordinary contribution to shaping Valeo. In doing so, he forever changed the Group’s history.

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