On January 30, 2020, Mr Chandrasekaran, Chairman of Tata Sons, Tata Motors and Jaguar Land Rover plc announced that Prof Sir Ralf Speth had decided to retire from his current role as Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer of Jaguar Land Rover at the end of his contract term in September 2020.
Mr Chandrasekaran, said:
I want to thank Ralf for his passion and commitment over the last 10 years. Ralf developed Jaguar Land Rover from a niche UK centric manufacturer to a respected, technological leading, global premium company.
I am delighted that Ralf has agreed to maintain his relationship with Jaguar Land Rover by becoming non-executive Vice Chairman.
Ralf will also remain on the board of Tata Sons.
A search committee has been formed which will work with me to identify a suitable successor in the coming months.
Prof Sir Ralf Speth said:
I feel very honoured to have worked with so many dedicated and creative people, both inside and outside of Jaguar Land Rover. We have elevated Jaguar and Land Rover. I want to say thank you for all their support and commitment.
We offer our customers multi-award-winning products and will continue to surprise with the best pipeline of new, innovative products we have ever had.
Personally, I am looking forward to new and exciting challenges.
Speth joined JLR in 2010 as CEO, a few years after Tata purchased the two brands from Ford Motor Company. He had experience with the company, however, having worked for Ford’s Premier Auto Group, which managed Land Rover and Jaguar alongside Volvo and Aston Martin until all four brands were sold off in the late 2000s to raise funds to prevent Ford from going bankrupt. He joined PAG following a 20-year career with BMW, during which he was Vice President of Land Rover during the German company’s ownership of Rover Group.
Speth oversaw Land Rover through several cycles of boom and bust. When he came in in 2010, the company was still reeling from a decade and a half of constant change. He stabilized the company and started an extremely aggressive expansion program. That included everything from factories in foreign countries to avoid tariffs and lower labor costs, to a huge expansion of the Land Rover and Jaguar model lines.
Note: Press release courtesy of Jaguar Land Rover plc.