Currently reading: Aston Martin chairman: no plans to replace CEO Tobias Moers
Company chairman Lawrence Stroll says "hurtful" allegations came from "disgruntled employees"

Aston Martin chairman Lawrence Stroll has officially denied recent suggestions that he is searching for a replacement for CEO Tobias Moers in the wake of a wave of staff departures and financial results coming in below expectations.

Moers' future at the firm was cast into doubt last month when Aston warned it would miss its earnings target for 2021 by £15 million, chiefly as a result of delays to the Valkyrie hypercar programme.

At the time, Bloomberg reported that Ford executive Steven Armstrong was a contender to take over the position, a report that was subsequently correlated by an Autocar source, but Stroll had said he was "absolutely not engaged" in a search for a new CEO.

Now, billionaire Stroll, who led the consortium that took over Aston Martin in January 2020, has confirmed he has no plans to oust the ex-Mercedes-AMG boss from his leading role at Aston Martin.

Asked about last month's reports, Stroll told Autocar at the launch of the 2022 Aston Martin Formula 1 racer: "I have no idea where that comes from. Tobias is doing a great job. He's staying here. He's the perfect partner for me."

Having just appointed ex-Ferrari F1 boss Marco Mattiacci to lead Aston Martin's branding activities – sales, marketing and advertising – Stroll said: "I need a partner who is really a CTO, which is Tobias. He's the only CEO/CTO."

Another factor in the uncertainty surrounding Moers' future is the recent departure of several high-ranking Aston officials, including special vehicles boss David King, chassis developer Matt Becker, Q division director Simon Lane and chief marketing officer Peter Freedman.

Stroll acknowledged that Moers "ruffled a lot of feathers when he came in", but added: "Let's be clear: I did not take over a healthy company.

"When a new management or ownership team comes in, you get transition. There's a lot of people who didn't want to step up to the level we wanted them to step up, and found it easier to leave."

He continued: "I never looked for a replacement for Tobias. I know it comes from those murmurings of disgruntled employees saying something." 

Without naming names, Stroll said there is a "whole bunch" of those he would rather have retained, but added that while Aston has lost "30-40ish" car people, it has hired 300, of which 176 are in senior engineering positions that didn't previously exist. 

Stroll admitted that some ex-staff members didn't get along with Moers because "he's German and he's hard," but he added: "This company needed a little 'German and hard'."

Back to top

"He's not going anywhere unless he wants to leave me, which he hasn't told me. We have a great relationship and I was very sorry that lie was out there because I thought it was hurtful for Tobias. It put confusion in the company, which I didn't need."

The current priorities for Aston Martin include heavily updating its line of front-engined sports cars, fulfilling customer orders of the Valkyrie hypercar and continuing on a five-year strategy aimed at rising through the F1 ranks to become a championship title contender in 2025. 

Stroll confirmed earlier reports that the hiving off of luxury EV division Lagonda has been put on ice while the company focuses on these goals. 

Join the debate

Comments
7
Add a comment…
scrap 21 February 2022

I mean, he could have put this statement out when the rumours first circulated. That might have addressed any 'confusion'.

Reading between the lines - and the sometimes contradictory statements coming from the company about future product plans - there was definitely some serious turmoil last month.

scrap 21 February 2022

I mean, he could have put this statement out when the rumours first circulated. That might have addressed any 'confusion'.

Reading between the lines - and the sometimes contradictory statements coming from the company about future product plans - there was definitely some serious turmoil last month.

Strider 19 February 2022

Low-quality individuals that put Aston Martin in a very difficult position come under pressure to perform or go, they get uncomfortable and resentful, so they spitefully brief the media against the new CEO. And Autocar doesn't see through it and publishes a piece that was clearly driven by resentment rather than fact.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Reset your password

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

A link has been emailed to you - check your inbox.



Don't have an account? Click here to register

Privacy Notice

Haymarket Media Group, publishers of Autocar Business, takes your privacy seriously. Our Automotive B2B brands and partners would like to keep you updated by email, phone and SMS with information and opportunities which we hope will help you in your work. Learn more about how we use your information when creating an online account. We believe we can demonstrate a legitimate interest in using your details for marketing messages, but if you do NOT wish to receive these messages, please click here.

I DON'T want messages from Autocar Business or other Automotive B2B brands via the following channels:
by email       by phone       by SMS

I DON'T WANT messages from you on behalf of your trusted partners via the following channels:     by email

We will use your information to ensure you receive messages that are relevant to you. You can unsubscribe at any time. Please see our Full Privacy Notice for more information.