Keolis Group names Patrick Jeantet as executive chairman

Patrick Jeantet has been appointed Keolis Group executive chairman.

Patrick Jeantet has been appointed as the new executive chairman of the Keolis Group.

Kathleen Wantz-O’Rourke, Keolis.

The appointment was confirmed by Keolis Group Supervisory Board chairman Joel Lebreton at an extraordinary Supervisory Board meeting on Tuesday 5 November 2019. Patrick Jeantet will take up his post early in 2020, with the role being covered in the interim by group finance and legal executive director Kathleen Wantz-O’Rourke.

A graduate of France’s École Polytechnique and École Nationale des Ponts et Chaussées, Patrick Jeantet is no stranger to Keolis, having worked with the company from 2005 until 2013.

He began his career in construction at Bouygues and Sogea-VINCI, and then worked in the water industry with Bechtel and International Water.

In 2005, he joined Keolis as deputy CEO, International, moving on to become CEO, France.

He was chief operating officer of Groupe Aéroports de Paris from 2014, before being appointed chairman and CEO of SNCF Réseau, and deputy chairman of the SNCF Executive Board, in 2016. While with the French state railway infrastructure owner, he developed and launched the Nouvel’R transformation project to prepare the rail network of the future by combining digital technologies and new working methods.

He now returns to Keolis as Group executive chairman what might be called a ‘job swap’ – previous incumbent Jean-Pierre Farandou was revealed to be the new head of SNCF in September.

Joel Lebreton, Keolis

Commenting on the appointment, Keolis Group Supervisory Board chairman Joel Lebreton said, “Patrick brings extensive international experience, including eight years at Keolis. His comprehensive knowledge of the public transport sector and public transport authorities, in France and internationally, constitutes a real advantage in achieving the strategic goals of growing our business and improving the profitability of the Keolis Group.”

Keolis Group operates in 16 different countries. It is 70 per cent owned by SNCF – France’s state-owned railway operator – and 30 per cent owned by Canadian pension fund Caisse de depot et de placement du Québec.

In the UK, Keolis has been involved in the rail and tram market since 1996. Today, it employs 13,000 people across its franchises and concessions, which include:

  • Govia – in partnership with the Go–Ahead Group;
  • Southeastern – a joint venture with Go–Ahead;
  • GTR – Govia Thameslink Railway is the UK’s largest franchise;
  • KeolisAmey Docklands – with Amey, operators of the Docklands Light Railway since 2014;
  • Nottingham Tram – a four–way partnership between Keolis, Trent Barton, Alstom and Vinci;
  • KeolisAmey Metrolink – a joint venture between Keolis and Amey that was awarded the franchise, in 2017, to operate and maintain Manchester’s Metrolink for up to 10 years;
  • Transport for Wales (TfW) Rail Services – KeolisAmey was awarded the Wales and Borders franchise for 15 years in May 2018.

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