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.
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.
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'."