Jean Todt: Biography highlights
As an after-dinner speaker, Todt engages with his audience by presenting insights from his successful career in motorsport about teamwork and performance.
Full biography of Jean Todt
Jean Todt’s background
In 1966, Jean Todt began his career and participated in the World Rally Championship until 1981. That same year, alongside Guy Fréquelin, he won the World Rally Championship for Manufacturers with a Talbot Lotus. Between 1966 and 1981, Jean Todt co-drove alongside 18 of the most successful drivers of the period for 12 major manufacturers, winning many international rallies in the process.
He was then appointed Peugeot’s Director of Racing and founded Peugeot Talbot Sport (PTS), which claimed the Drivers’ and Manufacturers’ FIA World Rally Championship titles in 1985 and 1986 before going on to take first place in the general classification in four editions of the Paris-Dakar Rally between 1987 and 1990. In 1990, Jean Todt became Director of Sporting Activities of the PSA Peugeot Citroën Group, overseeing both Citroën’s victory in the Paris-Dakar in 1991 and Peugeot’s participation in the World Sports Car Championship, which it won in 1992. It also took two consecutive victories at the 1992 and 1993 24 Hours of Le Mans.
On 1 July 1993, Jean Todt became Director of Ferrari’s Racing Division. Under his leadership, from 1993 to 2008, Scuderia Ferrari won 14 FIA Formula One World titles (eight Constructors’ and six Drivers’ titles, five thanks to Michael Schumacher and one with Kimi Räikkönen) and 106 Grand Prix victories. In 2001, he took on responsibility for all motor sport activities of the Ferrari- Maserati Group and then he was appointed General Manager of Ferrari in 2004. This same year, Jean Todt was appointed CEO of Ferrari.
In 2008, he took up a new post as a Special Advisor to the President of Ferrari. He left Ferrari in April 2009.
Jean Todt was elected President of the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) on 23 October 2009, re-elected on 6 December 2013, and again on 8 December 2017.
On April 29 2015, Jean Todt was appointed by the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon as his Special Envoy for Road Safety, and was confirmed in April 2017 by the new UN Secretary-General António Guterres.
Jean Todt also devotes his time to several charitable causes. He is one of the Founders and Vice-President of the Institut du Cerveau et de la Moelle Epinière (ICM), an institute devoted to medical research for brain and spinal cord disorders, which was set up in 2005. He has been a member of the Board of Trustees of the FIA Foundation for the Automobile and Society since 2009, President of the Board of Directors of the Suu Foundation since December 2014, and member of the Board of Directors for the International Peace Institute (IPI) since June 2015. He has been a member of the IOC’s Commission for Public Affairs and Social Development through Sport since April 2017.
Since January 2018, he has been a board member of the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens. He also sits on the boards of Gaumont, the Groupe Lucien Barrière and Edmond de Rothschild SA. He is also Member of the Automobile Club de France and of the Polo de Paris. Since March 2021, he is Colonel in the citizen’s reserve of the French Gendarmerie Nationale.