Born in 1957, Jean-Pierre Farandou graduated in engineering from Mines ParisTech. He began his career at US mining company AMAX in Denver (Colorado) before joining SNCF, the French railway operator, in 1981.
After holding various positions - including production manager and marketing manager - within SNCF, he was appointed project manager for the launch of the Paris-Lille high-speed line (TGV) in 1993.
He then created the legal structure for Thalys International in Brussels, of which he was general manager from 1993 to 1998. He then successively held the positions of Director of HR Executives (1998 - 2000) and Deputy Director Main Lines (2000 - 2002).
From 2002 to 2005, he headed the SNCF Rhône Alpes region, which has the largest TER regional express train network in France. At the end of 2004, he joined the Keolis Group, a public transport leader in France, where he was appointed head of Keolis Lyon (4,200 employees), the Group's local subsidiary, which operates and maintains the bus, metro and tramway network in Lyon.
In 2006, he was appointed Director of the SNCF Proximités branch, which grouped together the activities of Transilien, 20 TERs (suburban train lines), Intercités (regional train lines) and the Keolis/EFFIA Group.
Appointed Deputy Managing Director of Etablissement Public (EPIC) SNCF on 1 June 2012, he was made Chairman of the Board of Directors at Keolis on 7 August 2012.
Alongside his activities at Keolis, Jean-Pierre Farandou was also Chairman of GIE Objectif Transport Public (2013-2015), set up by GART (French Transport Authorities Association), before being made Chairman of the UTP (French Public and Rail Transport Trade Association), from 2014 to 2017.