Chief executive David Smith to leave; former Opel and BMW boss Carl-Peter Forster in?
25 January 2010

Jaguar Land Rover is parting company with its chief executive, David Smith, potentially clearing the way for former Opel and BMW boss Carl-Peter Forster to take control.

Forster has been linked with a senior role at JLR for some months and Tata Motors executives were rumoured to have been taking soundings on whether Forster was the right man for job.

Julian Rendell blog - What next for Jaguar Land Rover?

A Jaguar Land Rover spokesman refused to comment on these reports, saying Smith's departure was a "confidential matter".

There’s no official word from Jag on the replacement for Smith except a statement saying “a replacement will be announced in due course”. The company spokesman said, however, that no timescale had been set to find a replacement.

In the meantime Tata Motors boss Ravi Kant will oversee JLR in conjunction with Jag boss Mike O’Driscoll and Land Rover boss Phil Popham.

Smith was JLR’s finance director and came to be highly regarded by Tata Motors during the Ford sell-off. He was the only candidate for the CEO job once Tata took control.

However, unlike many car company CEOs he lacked wider experience in production, engineering and marketing.

A Jaguar Land Rover spokesman did, however, deny that Smith's departure was connected to ongoing talks with Jaguar Land Rover's workforce regarding pay and pensions.

Talks on proposed changes to pay and pensions between Jaguar Land Rover bosses and unions broke down last week after six days of discussions.

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25 January 2010

If hes from BMW he will just make the range bland, boring and virtually identical.

I would prefer somone in charge of JLR to be an actual fan of design.

25 January 2010

Carl Peter Forster was the rebel in GM who wanted GM Europe to be bought by Magna rather than fall back into the hands of the US parents.

By getting Forster on board Tata can take advantage of his links with Magna and Sberbank. Magna will give them ready production facilities in North America and elsewhere where Tata is weak and Sberbank has been looking to invest money in the Auto industry which can help with the Indian cos. expansion plans.

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