Linda Jackson, who has been the boss of Citroën for the past six years, has move to a new role within the PSA Group to lead a study on brand differentiation.
The Briton has been succeeded as Citroën chief by Vincent Cobee, a former Nissan and Mitsubishi executive who was the deputy CEO of the brand. The move has been made official as part of a wider reshuffle of the Groupe PSA executive committee. Reports citing a similar management change had previously emerged in October 2019, a few months ago, when Vincent Cobee joined the company.
In her new role, Jackson, will “lead a study to clarify and support brand differentiation within a brand portfolio.” In particular, her role will focus on providing brand clarification and coherence across the group and ensure differentiation within a portfolio of brands.
DS boss Yves Bonnefont has also been shifted to a new role, leading a “study on potential synergies within a portfolio of brands,” which will include looking at brand positioning, strategy and possible synergies, reporting directly to Groupe PSA boss Carlos Tavares.
The two new roles are likely to be linked to the current merger of PSA with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, creating the world’s fourth-largest car manufacturer. Groupe PSA currently comprises Citroën, DS, Peugeot and Vauxhall/Opel, while FCA’s brands include Alfa Romeo, Fiat, Jeep and Maserati.
Jackson joined Citroën in 2005 and headed Citroën UK and Ireland from 2010-2014, when she was put in charge of the whole brand. During her time in charge, Jackson shifted Citroën's positioning to focus on comfort and set it apart from DS and Peugeot.
Cobee joined Citroën last October, after departing from Mitsubishi earlier in the year. PSA cited his "wide experience in international markets" as "essential" for Citroën to achieve international growth.
Bonnefont has led DS since it was first launched as a full standalone brand from Citroën six years ago. Béatrice Foucher, currently the deputy CEO of DS, will take over as head of the brand and Member of the Global Executive Committee.
The PSA Group has confirmed that it will be launching the Citroën brand in India with the C5 Aircross SUV set to be the first model from the brand. The brand is also understood to have begun development on a Creta-rivalling mid-sized SUV as well as a contender in the compact SUV segment.
The carmaker has already begun its ground work in the country, including securing a partnership to offer leasing options for the C5 Aircross when it launches sometime this year.