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New CEO faces ‘tough challenges’ at Lotus

Lotus Group plc has appointed Kim Ogaard-Nielsen as its new chief executive officer. He assumed the post on December 1, almost three years after previous CEO, Terry Playle, quit suddenly after just 11 months in the role.

Deputy chairman Victor Kiam managed the company as CEO-designate after Playle left, and led it through a period of restructuring. Kiam, former finance director of Lotus parent Proton’s UK sales company, will remain on the Lotus Group International board and will work on other UK projects for Proton.

Ogaard-Nielsen says Lotus faces “tough challenges” over the coming months – last month it announced 350 jobs cuts, almost a fifth of its workforce, following the loss of a major engineering contract – but he is looking forward to tackling the company’s global issues and driving it forward.

The business provides consultancy services to some of the world’s major carmakers, including Ford and Vauxhall, besides building its own sports cars.

Danish Ogaard-Nielsen has extensive managerial experience in a number of industries. His early career was in the transport sector, with A.P Moller/Maersk and later Norasia Lines.

He also founded an IT-based consultancy and outsourcing business, IBIS Corporation.

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