Jean Todt was born in Pierrefort, France in 1946. It is believed that when Todt took his father’s Mini Cooper for a spin, his career was laid out before him. He had the love of motorsports in his blood.
Todt began his career in motorsports taking various positions and driving roles on rally teams. The teams attended the rally races that are notorious for road races on public and private streets. Todt joined Peugeot Talbot Sport Rally Team as a co-driver and remained with the team until he retired in 1981 stepping away from the competitive end of driving.
After retirement from the competitive team, Todt took on a new role. He designed the 205 Turbo 16 that was used in the 1984 World Rally Championship Season which was full of twelve rallies. The 205 took the spotlight in the 1985 and 1986 with world titles both years.
Todt moved on to accept a lead position with Ferrari’s F1 Team. He was responsible for hiring a passionate and dedicated team and together with the efforts of Luca di Montezemolo, Michael Schumacher, Ross Brawn, and Rory Byrne; they went on a winning streak with no end in sight. The team’s win-record credited a powerful tribute to Ferrari that would make Enzo Ferrari very proud.
Jean Todt has been connected to the actress Michelle Yeoh and even made a formal announcement about a pending engagement to the former Bond girl. Yeoh denied claims of marriage plans.
When Michael Schumacher left Ferrari in 2006, Jean Todt was promoted to the CEO position of Ferrari. He is no longer involved with the hands on day-to-day operation involving the Ferrari F1 Team. Still, he will go down in history as the man who took the reins and held them tight through Ferrari’s most prosperous and winning race season.