Andy Palmer will be replaced by Tobias Moers as Aston Martin Lagonda chief executive. The decision is confirmed today after newspaper reports of the change over the weekend.
Current Mercedes-AMG chief Tobias, 54, will be based at the Company’s headquarters in Gaydon, Warwickshire and will join on 1 August 2020.
In the interim period Keith Stanton, currently Vice President and Chief Manufacturing Operations Officer, is appointed interim Chief Operating Officer to support the Executive Chairman, Lawrence Stroll.
Daimler AG owns a 5% stake in Aston Martin and supplies it with Mercedes-AMG engines.
Aston Martin has struggled recently as it has had to bear huge costs opening a new plant in Wales and expanding its product portfolio. This year sales were hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. Canadian billionaire Lawrence Stroll purchased a big stake for nearly GBP200m early this year as Aston Martin sought cash. The company’s share price has plunged since its flotation in 2018.
Tobias will be charged with turning the company’s fortunes around. He has spent more than 25 years in senior roles at Daimler AG and is currently CEO of Mercedes-AMG GmbH, a position he has held since October 2013. He is also acting Chief Technical Officer. In an official statement, he is described as having ‘established a successful track record of implementing business transformation in a competitive environment’. The statement also says he has more than doubled AMG’s product portfolio and quadrupled the number of AMG units sold, ‘with a clear pipeline of further expansion opportunities, especially in electrification of powertrains in the performance segment’. Moreover Tobias’ focus on operating and manufacturing efficiency has delivered significant margin expansion, the statement adds.
Lawrence Stroll, Aston Martin Lagonda Executive Chairman said: “The Board has determined that now is the time for new leadership to deliver our plans. On behalf of the Board, I would like to thank Andy for his hard work, personal commitment and dedication to Aston Martin Lagonda since 2014. In that time the Company has successfully renewed its core sports car range, with the DB11, Vantage and DBS Superleggera and has brought the brand’s first SUV, DBX to a point of readiness for deliveries to start in the summer. Furthermore, the development of the era-defining Aston Martin Valkyrie hypercar has paved the way for the mid-engined range to come. I would also like to recognise his leadership through the current challenges and uncertainties presented by COVID-19.
“I am delighted to welcome Tobias to Aston Martin Lagonda. He is an exceptionally talented automotive professional and a proven business leader with a strong track record during his many years at Daimler AG, with whom we have a longstanding and successful technical and commercial partnership, which we look forward to continuing. Throughout his career he has delivered product expansion, strengthened brand positioning and improved profitability. He is the right leader for Aston Martin Lagonda as we implement our strategy for the business to achieve its full potential. Our ambition for the company is significant, clear and only matched by our determination to succeed.
“All of my and Tobias’ energy will be dedicated to building on the company’s inherent strengths, its brand, its engineering prowess, and the skills of its people to enable Aston Martin to become one of the pre-eminent luxury car brands in the world.”
Tobias Moers said: “I am truly excited to be joining Aston Martin Lagonda at this point of its development. I have always had a passion for performance cars and relish the chance to work for this iconic brand which I was close to on the technical side at the beginning of the partnership between the two companies. Following the arrival of Lawrence, as Executive Chairman, the significant investment from his Yew Tree Consortium, the completion of the equity raise and the reset, I believe that there is a significant opportunity to harness the strengths of the business to successfully deliver the planned product expansion and brand elevation. I am looking forward to working with Lawrence and the whole Aston Martin team to build a stronger business for our customers, our employees, our partners and our shareholders.”
Andy Palmer said: “It has been a privilege to serve Aston Martin Lagonda for almost six years. The launch of many new products including the new DBX demonstrates the dedication and capability of our employees. I would like to thank my management team and all the staff for their hard work and support, particularly during the challenges presented by COVID-19. I am proud of you all and it’s been an honour to work with you.”