Advertisement
Opinion

'The JLR management merry-go-round is up and running'

With JLR CEO Sir Ralph Speth retiring, Steve Fowler looks at who in the automotive industry looks set to replace him

OPINION Sir Ralph Speth

We’ve expected it for a while, but the news of JLR CEO Sir Ralf Speth’s retirement is still a seismic event in the UK car industry. He sits at the top of a company that employs around 40,000 people globally, of which close to 35,000 are in the UK. Without his leadership, Land Rover and Jaguar wouldn’t be what they are today: the envy of other car makers around the world.

 It’s been a rollercoaster ride for Speth, though. Incredible highs, with the launch of some brilliant new cars (including four Auto Express Car of the Year Awards during his tenure) and, more recently, some seriously difficult times. He leaves the company in a much better place than when he became CEO in 2010, but there’s still much to do, not least in improving reliability and service.

Best SUVs to buy

But herein starts a managerial merry-go-round with wide-ranging implications. There’ll be plenty of internal candidates for the job, including rising Auto Express Brit List star and current JLR engineering director Nick Rogers (Speth himself has an engineering background). Former Land Rover MD and now Lotus CEO Phil Popham must be on the list – although that’d be a tough place to leave.

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below
Advertisement - Article continues below

Auto Express Hall of Fame inductee Mike Manley has already been mentioned in reports. He’s currently CEO of FCA, but won’t be running the combined FCA/PSA company. Mike’s success at FCA and Jeep won’t have gone unnoticed; he could be just what JLR needs.

Also this week, Aston Martin has a new chairman. And former SEAT CEO Luca de Meo has finally been confirmed as the new boss of Renault. That’s hugely significant; the French brand is showing great signs for the future, and with someone as good as de Meo at the helm, it’s even more exciting. 

That’s how important getting the right CEO is, as PSA proved when it appointed Carlos Tavares in 2014. Its brands haven’t looked back since. So good luck to Tata in the search for Speth’s successor, a crucial role for JLR and the UK.

What do you think JLR's future should look like? Let us know in the comments below...

Advertisement
Advertisement

Recommended

Visit/jaguar/109167/new-jaguar-land-rover-project-vector-showcases-autonomous-future
Jaguar Land Rover Project Vector - front
Jaguar

New JLR Project Vector showcases autonomous future

The new JLR Project Vector autonomous pod sits on a new platform and is scheduled for on-road trials before the end of 2021
18 Feb 2020
Visit/land-rover/108061/what-is-land-rover-incontrol
Land Rover Discovery 2017 - official incontrol touch pro
Land Rover

What is Land Rover InControl?

Here’s everything you need to know about Land Rover’s InControl infotainment system
11 Feb 2020
Visit/jaguar/108898/jlr-desperately-needs-a-range-of-smaller-cars-and-suvs
Opinion - Jaguar E-Pace
Jaguar

“JLR desperately needs a range of smaller cars and SUVs”

Could Jaguar Land Rover become the latest brand to join the PSA empire? Mike Rutherford thinks it would be a good idea for both parties
26 Jan 2020
Visit/land-rover/108692/land-rover-buys-bowler-performance-4x4-specialists
Land Rover Bowler
Land Rover

Land Rover buys Bowler performance 4x4 specialists

Bowler brand to be run by Jaguar Land Rover’s Special Vehicle Operations division
18 Dec 2019

Most Popular

Visit/bentley/continental-gt/351832/bentleys-built-horse-themed-continental-gt-convertible
Bentley Continental GT

Bentley’s built a horse-themed Continental GT Convertible

The bespoke Continental GT Convertible Equestrian Edition features tweed door panels, a walnut dash and gold “horse and rider” emblems
9 Mar 2020
Visit/modern-classics/351953/most-wanted-cars-2020-poll
News

Most Wanted Cars 2020: poll

Decide which classic car you would most want to see brought back from the dead by an all new model
27 Mar 2020
Visit/porsche/taycan/351946/new-porsche-taycan-2020-review
Porsche Taycan

New Porsche Taycan 2020 review

Electric Porsche Taycan sports car delivers the goods as we try out in the UK for first time
27 Mar 2020