Currently reading: Official: Aston Martin names Mercedes-AMG chief as new boss
Updated: British firm's share price rallies after it names Tobias Moers will replace Andy Palmer as CEO
James Attwood, digital editor
News
4 mins read
26 May 2020

Aston Martin has confirmed that current Mercedes-AMG chief Tobias Moers will replace Andy Palmer as the embattled firm’s chief executive officer.

Palmer, 56, has led the British firm since 2014, serving as both president and chief executive officer. He will step down from his duties immediately. Moers, 55, will start as chief executive officer on 1 August and will also serve on the firm’s board as an executive director.

The switch was first reported by the Financial Times over the weekend. Since it was announced this morning, Aston Martin Lagonda Limited's share price has risen by around 30%, from 35p to around 50p.

Keith Stanton, currently Aston Martin's vice-president and manufacturing chief, will lead the company on an interim basis until Moers’ arrival. Philipp Schiemer will switch from running Mercedes-Benz's Brazilian division to become the new head of Mercedes-AMG.

Aston Martin has posted heavy losses recently, with the firm's share price falling sharply. The move comes shortly after billionaire Lawrence Stroll led a major investment into the firm and took over as chairman. Stroll said the Aston Martin board “has determined that now is the time for new leadership to deliver our plans”. He added that Moers is “the right leader for Aston Martin as we implement our strategy for the business to achieve its full potential”. 

The German has worked at Daimler for more than 25 years and switched to the Mercedes-AMG performance division in 1994. He became the firm’s head of vehicle development in 2002 and took over the top role late in 2013. 

Moers has since led a major expansion of Mercedes-AMG, doubling its model range and hugely increasing sales. The Affalterbach firm sold 132,000 cars last year, compared to around 70,000 in 2015.

Stroll said that Moers' experience of growing Mercedes-AMG would be crucial to reviving Aston Martin’s fortunes: “He is an exceptionally talented automotive professional and a proven business leader with a strong track record during his many years at Daimler, 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.”

Moers said that he is “truly excited to be joining Aston Martin Lagonda at this point in its development”. He added: “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.”

Palmer joined Aston Martin after serving in senior management roles at Nissan and has been credited for helping the firm grow by attracting new investment, expanding its model range and cutting costs. His strategy included the ambitious ‘Second Century Plan’, which involved massively expanding the Aston Martin range. That includes the new DBX, the firm’s first SUV, with Palmer also leading the approval for the new St Athan factory in Wales where it will be built.

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However, Palmer also helped push through the decision to float Aston Martin Lagonda on the London Stock Exchange in 2018. A series of setbacks since then, including a £119 million loss in the first three months of this year, led to the firm’s share price falling more than 90% from its initial value. That also prompted the firm to heavily revamp its product plan, including delaying the relaunch of Lagonda as a luxury electric car brand.

Stroll added: “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.”

In the statement issued by Aston Martin, 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'm proud of you all and it has been an honour to work with you.”

Mercedes-AMG names new boss

Philipp Schiemer will replace Moers as the new chief executive officer of Mercedes-AMG. Schiemer has worked at Daimler since 1987 and has previously served as project manager for the A-Class and Mercedes-Benz's head of marketing. He has led the firm's Brazilian arm since 2013.

Jochen Hermann, currently the head of e-drive development for Daimler, will take over from Moers has Mercedes-AMG's chief technology officer. Hermann was AMG's vehicle development chief from 2014 until 2016, before switching to his current role leading electric powertrain development.

READ MORE

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Comments
10

26 May 2020

This seems quite a coup for AML. And Palmer leaves with good grace - no CEO of a listed company will survive a 90% drop in value, especially so quickly.

26 May 2020

Astons soon to be rebadged Mercedes, at least they'll be well made I guess?

But certainly no longer British.

Aston certainly should have waited for Geeley's offer.

But Geeley already have a 10% stake in Daimler, and Daimler are not doing well at all through this pandemic. Geeley may well get Aston in the end - after buying Daimler.

26 May 2020
CarNut170 wrote:

Astons soon to be rebadged Mercedes, at least they'll be well made I guess?

But certainly no longer British.

Aston certainly should have waited for Geeley's offer.

But Geeley already have a 10% stake in Daimler, and Daimler are not doing well at all through this pandemic. Geeley may well get Aston in the end - after buying Daimler.

it was already AMG lite, using the AMG engines, the heart of any car

26 May 2020

Out with immediate effect. He was booted out of Aston! Hence why there's no CEO until Tobias starts in August.

 

Now they need to get short of Reichman, and arguably he's the one who should be going first.

 

26 May 2020
Symanski wrote:

Out with immediate effect. He was booted out of Aston! Hence why there's no CEO until Tobias starts in August.

 

Now they need to get short of Reichman, and arguably he's the one who should be going first.

 

 

Agreed. The wilful over-styling of the Vantage will seal Reichmann's fate, too. And Palmer's reputation never got over him dumping his shares soon after the IPO for millions ...whilst surveying a scene where investors "got pence in the pound" returns. The City doesn't forget that. With Moers, Wolf and Stroll...you've got people with a record of 'results' ...not under-performance smeared with BS flummery. The workers at St Athens will be better served in the long-run. 

27 May 2020
Symanski wrote:

Now they need to get short of Reichman, and arguably he's the one who should be going first.

 

HIGHLY unlikely, given Moers publicly stated extreme admiration of the superb Vantage, Lagonda and DBX styling.

wmb

26 May 2020

...will there be changes to the Lagonda brand, as it was intended under him? Will the amazing exterior styling change of both the sedan and SUV concepts? Will they remain BEV's?  Will they continue to compete with Bentley and Royals Royce as originally intended? How much into the future has the restart of this marque been pushed. Will the DBX still get the BEV treatment? We'll just have wait and see! 

26 May 2020

I really hope I'm wrong, but this sounds like the very worst possible scenario. An Aston Martin that isn't an Aston Martin completely defeats the purpose. Is there any chance this doesn't result in "Astons" that share platforms as well as engines with Mercedes? The more Mercedes there is in an "Aston" the less Aston there is. Electronics and HVAC systems can be shared -- they don't make a car what it is. Engines and platforms do, and must be bespoke. The current AMG V8 is a great engine -- and it has no business being in an Aston. Will Aston's new in-house V6 survive this? Shared platforms and more engine sharing seems a virtual certainty. A crying shame.

(Apologies if this appears twice -- my first post seems to have disappeared.)

27 May 2020

To boot out a long-serving CEO at this time seems like an irrational decision when every car maker is struggling and asking for gov't support. Moers doesn't seem as experienced enough as Palmer to run a proper car company, AMG was only a tuning division.

Stroll states all the major things Palmer has done for AML, like completely revamping the range, bringing about the AMG connection and creating a new factory for a new car. Moers will be benefitting from Palmer's hard work, rather than actually doing anyting profound for the compan;s long-term future. 

Blaming Palmer for the IPO is unreasonable as this was driven by the consortium owners -who wanted their money out- and the City brokers, who wanted a commission. Palmer selling his shares just shows how canny he is -or how much he needed the money- either way, it seems like a mistake to force palmer out at this time. Stroll may regret his rash and impulsive move.

29 May 2020

I've never been a huge fan of Aston, but this is just another British icon that will effectively become the bespoke and performance division of an overseas business.

It amazes me, how incompetent British business is at retaining its iconic brands and developing them properly on the global stage. I had high hopes for Aston as a brand that has been modernising, updating its range and image to fit the modern world better, in the same way that McLaren has been doing very successfully (excluding the effects of Coronavirus). Now I fear its going to be turned into a retro brand by Mercedes using the parts bin to make cars that are always one to two generations behind the market.

 

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