“I am not a politician, but a worker who started as an apprentice and I am still learning.” With these words the brand new CEO of Indra emerged from shaking off the pools that placed him in the political ranks before the new electoral cycle last January. José Vicente de los Mozos becomes the first executive of the semi-public company after several months of intense search. The manager, born in São Paulo in 1962 but with Valladolid ‘blood’, is one of the great names in Spanish motoring, after more than four decades holding relevant positions at Renault. With extensive professional experience, the Government and the rest of the shareholders need to provide stability to the leadership.
At the age of 60, the executive, the son of an employee of General Motors (in São Paulo) and Renault, landed at Indra with hardly any direct experience in the defense sector. He will have to lead a company in full swing towards this strategic sector and with a few years ahead in which military spending will skyrocket, both in Spain and in the rest of the allied countries. His predecessor, Ignacio Mataix, was recruited by the defense aviation engine manufacturer ITP Aero, where he served as CEO for almost fifteen years.
He does have an Aeronautical Engineering from the Polytechnic University of Madrid and extensive experience in the industry. De Los Mozos is one of the heavyweights of the great Spanish industry. It has been one of the great visible faces not only of the motor, but also of the sector in general. He was responsible for manufacturing the vehicles of the entire group and also for logistics. He has had experience at the top of the multinational, being a member of the executive committee of the French group, serving as president of the board of directors of the Spanish division.
De los Mozos, father of four children, had shown the Renault management his intention to leave the front row after years in which he traveled non-stop to Paris (France). “I am 60 years old and I have been going to Paris from Monday to Friday for 12 years, and I need to live. My family needs me a little more and I want to go back to my country. He spoke with Luca de Meo (CEO of Renault). It’s been many years and I think it’s time to go home and do things in my country, ”he assured last November after announcing his farewell. It is true that he had been on the verge of presiding over the group and, despite the fact that some voices placed him in that position, Luca de Meo was finally chosen in 2020.
After his departure from the French automobile group, De los Mozos did not hold any executive position. The Ifema Governing Board, led at that time by the president of the Community of Madrid, Isabel Díaz Ayuso, and made up of the City Council and the Chamber of Commerce, unanimously appointed him as president in 2020. This position is really more institutional than executive, since the day-to-day reins are held by Juan Arrizabalaga, who has served as general manager for almost a year.
His profile is not that of a typical politician or that of a prominent identifier with any party. But yes, he is close and well regarded by the Popular Party. In recent years he has served as an ‘advisor’ to the party’s economic teams, under the presidency of Pablo Casado. During the past month of January he had to come out of the way to ensure that he was not a politician in the face of the voices that placed him on electoral lists. This certain closeness to the party makes it possible to provide institutional stability given the proximity of the next general elections in December and a potential change of government.
In the Executive of Pedro Sánchez there has also been a certain harmony with the manager. In 2022, he was awarded the Gran Cruz de Isabel La Católica. This distinction came to recognize, as the Executive said after the Council of Ministers, “the contribution and contribution to the benefit of Spain, as well as its role in friendly relations and cooperation between our country and the rest of the international community.” Last December, the then Minister of Industry and today a candidate for the PSOE for the City Council, Reyes Maroto, recognized him after his departure from the automobile group: “We are going to miss you.”
Now, De los Mozos has important challenges ahead in his management at Indra. Two significant corporate operations. One is the possible shareholding of Indra in ITP Aero with a significant percentage. His predecessor, Ignacio Mataix, denied on several occasions before analysts that it was a transaction that was on the table. The other is the ‘spin off’ of Minsait, the company’s technology division, which has been flying over the company in recent months. In addition, the consolidation of the defense market is another of the fronts, with the irruption of Escribano with the intention of landing on the council.