Aston Martin Sees CEO Swap

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
aston martin sees ceo swap

Aston Martin Lagonda will be seeing new leadership. Tobias Moers will be surrendering his role as chief executive to make way for former Ferrari CEO Amedeo Felisa.

While the formal announcement was made on Wednesday, rumors about Moers getting the boot had been circulating ever since Aston Martin Racing head Otmar Szafnauer left the company in January after repeatedly butting heads with executive chairman Lawrence Stroll. Szafnauer was said to have resigned, however, reports suggested that the Canadian financier was displeased with his performance. At the time, there were claims that Moers’ head was next on the chopping block.

As with the company’s former racing boss, Moers was said to have resigned. But it’s incredibly common for the industry to establish a rosier narrative to make it seem as though everything is hunky-dory. Don’t forget that Carlos Ghosn also “resigned” before it was revealed that a corporate coup and some financial shenanigans had taken place within the Renault–Nissan–Mitsubishi Alliance. Notices of CEOs quitting can mean everything from an amicable departure to someone being physically dragged from the premises against their will.

We don’t have anything that would suggest the latter at this juncture. But there’s been plenty of speculation that Stroll wanted to replace Moers, with Car Magazine confirming reports that the two were bickering about how to manage the business. Moers was reportedly seeking to develop a German tech base for Aston Martin, moving R&D out of Gaydon while getting cozier with Mercedes-Benz — which holds a 20-percent stake in the British automaker. The outlet said Stroll was more interested in being buddies with the Italians and even predicted ex-Ferrari chief Amedeo Felisa coming to replace Moers. Though he didn’t get much of an introduction when the time came.

From Aston Martin:

Mr Amedeo Felisa joined Aston Martin Lagonda in May 2022 as Chief Executive Officer, having previously served as a non-Executive Director of AML, Felisa is appointed an Executive Director of Aston Martin Lagonda Global Holdings plc.

Felisa has spent his entire career in automotive and engineering with over 26 years in leadership roles at Ferrari, including eight as CEO, guiding the Italian-based global luxury automotive OEM through its turnaround and growth phase as the engineering and product-development force behind every new model.

Felisa holds a degree in mechanical engineering from the Milan Politecnico University.

At 76, Felisa has already fallen under criticism for being too old to run the company. But it’s not as if things were going swimmingly under Tobias Moers. The automaker reported a pre-tax loss of £111 million ($138.8 million) for the first quarter, expanding on its £42-million ($52.5-millon) loss from a year earlier. The business has also undergone numerous management shakeups during the now-ex CEO’s brief tenure. However, it may not be fair to attribute those failings to Moers directly, as he joined the company during the particularly rough 2020 with a stated desire to streamline operations and focus on tech.

Stroll spoke well of him, saying that he helped “deliver our future strategy, with a particular focus on technology advancements, and our in-house engineering capabilities, as we move towards electrification.”

While there could be some bad blood bubbling beneath the surface, my guess is that Moers’ prior relationship with Daimler and reported desire for Aston to get even further intertwined with Mercedes-Benz simply wasn’t something Stroll was interested in. Though, beyond ensuring his son always has a racing team to drive for, it’s not all that clear what his grand vision for the company entails.

Copying the Germans seems like it probably would have been a mistake. But aping the Italians doesn’t seem any wiser. Aston Martin needs its own strategy and to figure out a way to tap into its unique Britishness in a manner that resonates with customers. But speculating on what needs to be done is a lot easier than actually coming up with a winning plan. Here’s hoping CEO Felisa will have something concrete for us soon.

[Images: Aston Martin]

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  • Arthur Dailey Arthur Dailey on May 05, 2022

    Well we are certainly off topic but I agree. As posted elsewhere Corey and Murillee are basically keeping this site afloat. As others posted, please return to a) QOTD, b) B/D/B, c) Ace of Base, d) car buying tips and e) reader reviews. As for comments, it seems that many have 'withdrawn' due to many comments/posts becoming more political than auto centric. Yes, the auto industry is influenced by government regulation, but please focus on the auto aspect. The disappearance of at least one log in name, which may have been multiple posters using the same sign in based on the difference in syntax, grammar, wording and 'back story' from that log in name, occurred simultaneously with the Russian attack on Ukraine. Which certainly provides credible circumstantial evidence that this site was used by a Kremlin backed troll or trolls to post divisive comments. And that they have shifted their focus elsewhere during this 'military intervention'. Perhaps a return to more robust moderation would be beneficial? After all some previous commentators were 'banned' for much less pernicious postings.

  • Haywire Haywire on May 05, 2022

    Does anyone else see mid-60s Ford in the head- and taillights?

    • Matt Posky Matt Posky on May 05, 2022

      As a small child, I originally thought James Bond preferred the Ford Mustang because the first two 007 films I saw were The Living Daylights (where he drives an Aston Martin AMV8) and Diamonds Are Forever (where he drives a Mustang Mach 1).

  • Tassos BTW I thought this silly thing was always called the "Wienermobile".
  • Tassos I have a first cousin with same first and last name as my own, 17 years my junior even tho he is the son of my father's older brother, who has a summer home in the same country I do, and has bought a local A3 5-door hatch kinds thing, quite old by now.Last year he told me the thing broke down and he had to do major major repairs, replace the whole engine and other stuff, and had to rent a car for two weeks in a touristy location, and amazingly he paid more for the rental ( Euro1,500, or $1,650-$1,700) than for all the repairs, which of course were not done at the dealer (I doubt there was a dealer there anyway)
  • Tassos VW's EV program losses have already been horrific, and with (guess, Caveman!) the Berlin-Brandenburg Gigafactory growing by leaps and bounds, the future was already quite grim for VW and the VW Group.THis shutdown will not be so temporary.The German Government may have to reach in its deep pockets, no matter how much it hates to spend $, and bail it out."too big to fail"?
  • Billccm I had a 1980 TC3 Horizon and that car was as reliable as the sun. Underappreciated for sure.
  • Inside Looking Out I did not notice, did they mention climate change? How they are going to fight climate change, racism and gender discrimination. I mean collective Big 3.