|Patrick Louis - CEO, Lotus F1|
|Profile of the week|
Sunday, 08 September 2013 21:38
Patrick Louis is the Chief Executive Officer of Lotus F1 team.
Born 22nd December 1961 in St. Vith, Belgium, Patrick Louis graduated with an MBA [Master of Business Administration] from The European University in 1983 before achieving an MIM [Master of International Management] from the Thunderbird School of Global Management the following year. With an extensive education now in hand, Patrick went on to spend the next twenty-five years working as an independent consultant specialising in the restructuring of organisations across the globe.
In 2010 Patrick assumed the role of Chief Operating Officer at Lotus F1 Team [then Renault F1 Team] as part of a new-look management structure implemented following Genii Capital’s acquisition of the Formula 1 outfit earlier that year. Initially focusing on restructuring processes and procedures within the team – including structural changes in the organization chart for increased efficiency and lean manufacturing – Patrick subsequently took up the position of Chief Executive Officer in 2012 to ensure the effective utilisation of that restructuring.
During his time with the team thus far, Patrick has overseen significant changes at the squad’s Enstone base including the development and implementation of such state-of-the-art technologies as a driver-in-the-loop simulator and gearbox dyno, an upgrade to the team’s wind tunnel from 50% to 60% scale, and a complete CFD [Computational Fluid Dynamics] facility revamp.
From eighth position in the Constructors’ Championship in 2009, the team has progressed to finish fifth in 2010 / 2011, fourth in 2012 and is currently embroiled in a close battle for second in the current 2013 season.
By Ismail Uddin
You were promoted to your current position as CEO of Lotus F1 in 2010. What have you changed about Lotus since you’ve been there?
Since I have been there I have changed certain practices. There was no production engineering, there was no concurrent engineering and there was no cohesion between performance and engineering. These are just three examples.
Over the last few months you have acquired a number of sponsors. How important is your partnership program to pushing the team forward?
It’s key for the team. We must distinguish between the practical part and the pure sponsors, those are extremely important. We need the pure sponsors for branding exercises and collect cash for the global operation and you need the technical partners to help you solve the technical side which will give you an advantage to go to the top. Those are quite important.
Some of those partnerships include unorthodox partnerships in the Music industry and with major films. What prompted these partnerships?
We are using, for a couple of years now, in our communications the name of the song. We even compiled a couple of years ago our first movie. The strategy for us is that we try and put in play a partnership that is different from others. Another way we are different is the way we are coming from the communications side which keeps changing day and night.
The partnership with Columbia is extremely convenient for us and helps us to create a PR stunt.
You are also without a title sponsor at the moment. Has anything progressed in this department? Is your potential deal with Honeywell going to go ahead?
We are working on a title sponsor. Instead of signing a not that valuable deal we would instead prefer to wait and pick the right partner. It makes no sense to rush it and get the fraction of the value we need to get. We’re working on that one.
As a front running team do you feel you need the capital a title sponsorship deal will provide?
That's quite relative. Today what’s missing in the account at the end of the year is provided in loans by the company owners Genii Capital so it doesn’t really change anything for the team. In the end if the team gets a title sponsor it will be quite helpful for our shareholders. It will not change the funding of the team or the stability. We are stable.