Following a flood of rumors that emerged this week regarding a potential shift at the CEO position, Aston Martin has officially confirmed that long time CEO Dr. Andy Palmer has stepped down, with current Mercedes AMG CEO Tobias Moers being appointed to replace him, with Moers fully assuming his new role on August 1st.
Palmer’s exit comes as the company is currently trying to navigate its way through rough seas financially, with the company’s share price trending downward since it was allowed to float publicly in October of 2018. Things reached a sobering new low earlier this month, when the 107 year old British sports car manufacturer posted a massive first quarter loss in profit after sales dropped by nearly a third due to the onset of the novel coronavirus outbreak. This loss came at a bad time for Aston, with the company formally launching its long awaited DBX SUV, which was supposed to give the company an entry in the growing luxury SUV market. The DBX is supposed to begin rolling out to dealerships this summer, and the company was in the early stages of this rollout.
“Under Tobias’ leadership, Mercedes-AMG has more than doubled its 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. Tobias’ focus on operating and manufacturing efficiency has delivered significant margin expansion. This strong financial performance was supported by the introduction of a clear brand management strategy, which delivered a measurable increase in brand value and awareness.”
Palmer’s departure also marks the end of an era for the company, with Palmer first taking the reigns as CEO in 2014. During that time, Palmer rejuvenated the company, and led it through a period of product stagnation, with Palmer ultimately approving the production of the DB11, the revamped Vantage sports car, the DBS Superleggera, as well as the fore-mentioned DBX. The ex-CEO was also a very enthusiastic supporter of the company’s more exotic focused projects including the Valkyrie hypercar, the track only Vulcan, and the Valhalla. All of these projects and more helped reinforce Aston Martin’s commitment to the future, and allowed the company to compete on stronger ground against rivals such as Maserati, Ferrari, and others.
Aston Martin Lagonda Executive Chairman Lawrence Stroll released a statement that thanked Palmer for all of his contributions, but also revealed that the board decided that change was needed at the top revealing “The Board has determined that now is the time for new leadership to deliver our plans.” Stroll is the Canadian billionaire that recently increased his share in the company, and also pumped Aston with a sizable cash infusion to help keep the firm viable especially during the first half of this year.
“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.”
As for Tobias Moers, the incoming CEO released a statement of his own revealing “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.”
During the transition period, current Vice President and Chief Manufacturing Operations Officer Keith Stanton will be promoted to the role of interim Chief Operating Officer to help support Stroll during the transition period before Tobias Moers formally assumes command on August 1st.
Carl Malek has been an automotive journalist for over 10 years. First starting out as a freelance photographer before making the transition to writing during college, his work has appeared on numerous automotive forums as well as websites such as Autoshopper.com.
Carl is also a big fan of British vehicles with the bulk of his devotion going to the Morgan Motor Company as well as offerings from Lotus, MG, and Caterham. When he is not writing about automobiles, Carl enjoys spending time with his family and friends in the Metro Detroit area, as well as spending time with his adorable pets.