Record updated 26-Feb-07
Jean Todt is currently executive director of Scuderia Ferrari, the Ferrari company's Formula One constructor. On October 25, 2006, he was appointed as the company's CEO.
Jean Todt was born in the town of Pierrefort in the Cantal department of France, having some Polish origins. His father was the local doctor.
Successful in whatever sport he has participated in, Todt's motorsport career began when he took his father's Mini Cooper S for a ride with a friend. He started driving in rallies but decided his strength was as a co-driver and in this role he achieved the ultimate award by winning the World Rally Championship.
After his Todt went on to become the motorsport boss of Talbot - Peugeot and under his leadership the French based team won two Rally World Championships along with two World Rally Drivers Championships.
It was 1990 after having spent several years taking part in various rally's that Jean Todt took over the at Peugeot's Sportscar team, and it did not take long for the Todt magic to bring the team results. Two years after Todt arrived the team won the Sportscar World Championship.
In 1993 Peugeot decided not to enter F1, and with that came the offer from Ferrari President Luca Montezemolo to Jean to join the team at Maranello, the offer was gladly accepted and Jean Todt began to work his magic with the Scuderia.
When Todt arrived in Maranello the team was in a mess, the team divided by internal politics after the loss of Enzo Ferrari was not working as a team such as Ferrari was. This was the 1st job for Todt to fix, and he fixed it by brining organisation to the team and getting them to all work together and to work towards the same goal, the world championship.
In 1994 and 1995 Todt began to turn the fortunes of Ferrari around and they began the climb back to the top of Formula One, 71 points and 3rd place were secured in 94 with 73 points and another 3rd place to follow in 95.
It was in 1996 that Todt finally began to build the team that would win the title's Ferrari so desperately wanted. 1996 saw a few changes at Ferrari, 2 times World Champion Michael Schumacher was lured from Benetton to become the no1 pilot for the Scuderia, also arriving was Eddie Irvine to aid in the quest for success. Some wondered at the logic of the Irvine signing but over the course of his Ferrari career this decision was justified. With Michael Schumacher came extra benefits, and they were Ross Brawn the English genius who could transform a race with his quick thinking on the pit-wall, and Rory Byrne who would design the cars for Michael and Eddie to win with.
In 1997 and 1998 the team grew and became stronger and stronger under Todt's leadership, the dream team was beginning to bring results, but once again it was 2nd places for Ferrari as they could not seem to make that final step from 2nd to 1st. But they remained confident that the team was the right one to deliver the dream.
It was in 1999 when Todt's goal was half achieved, Ferrari took the Constructor's Trophy after a fantastic battle with the McLaren team. And the season should have reaped the drivers title had Michael Schumacher not broken his leg at Silverstone, but Eddie Irvine took the fight and lost the drivers title by 1 point. The Constructor's Title was secured with 124 points.
The year 2000, the year of the Tifosi, the year of the titles. Jean Todt watched with pride as his team that he built up over 7 long years finally confirmed what we all knew and won both titles with a convincing style. Michael Schumacher took the Drivers Title with 9 wins and Ferrari romped to the Constructor's Title with 10 wins and remarkably a podium place in each and every race of the season, thanks to the consistency of new boy Rubens Barrichello.
2001 was more of the same for Ferrari as once again they took both titles with Michael Schumacher dominating the season under Todt's watchful eye. With Jean at the helm Ferrari are now back on top were they belong and with that comes talk of pastures new and maybe even retirement from the sport! Well if Jean does decide to call it a day then we have to be thankful that when he leaves the Scuderia he is leaving our team in a much stronger position than they were when he arrived.
Todt never did retire and he remained in his role for the glorious 2002 season. Todt watched on with massive amounts of pride as the Ferrari team won 15 races and took home both titles with 221 points scored. With Todt leading the team the success his risen year after year and it is testament to his leadership qualities that even with such results the team remains as hungry as ever for success. Ferrari were heavily criticised in 2002 but Todt never buckled and his team orientated brain was way above the gutter like press words.
Ferrari had to fight much harder in 2003 for the titles, but it was a fight that inspired Jean Todt, and once again under his leadership the battle was won. Todt faced some tough moments in the season as Ferrari seemed to be losing their grasp on the sport but the team never lost faith and Todt drove them on to a end of season fightback that ended in Japan with both titles remaining firmly with the Maranello team.
2004 would see Ferrari secure both titles, once again with Todt leading the team.
At the end of the 2006 season Michael Schumacher left Ferrari for retirement and Todt was promoted to be the CEO of Ferrari, taking a step back from active day-to-day running of the team.