By on May 4, 2022

 

Aston Martin

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]

Become a TTAC insider. Get the latest news, features, TTAC takes, and everything else that gets to the truth about cars first by subscribing to our newsletter.

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

16 Comments on “Aston Martin Sees CEO Swap...”


  • avatar
    CoastieLenn

    Off Topic, but has anyone else noticed that TTAC feels like it’s really dropped off the last few months to a year? Article postings dropped a little bit, but mostly noticing it in the comment section. Seems like the only time we see much user engagement anymore is in a polarizingly political topic- likely posted by Posky. LOL!

    Just me?

    • 0 avatar
      Tim Healey

      Um, hi! The “boss” here. Can’t speak to y’all in the comments, but you’re right about article count. We made a conscious choice to lower the count about a year ago, with the idea of having some longer, mone in-depth features. We’re still working on that strategy, but we’ve run into a bit of a news desert recently. Also, a lot of us have found ourselves swamped and/or traveling (and in my case, sometimes working on internal corporate projects). Long way of saying we’re still working on stuff, but some things take longer to “cook” than others.

      I’m hoping to pump out some more stuff under my byline in May, and we have at least one more embargoed first drive, possibly two, coming.

      You might always think we’re just at our desk cranking content, but sometimes we have other work to put in before we write — research, driving, whatever.

      We’ve also spent a lot of time on our new podcast, so check it out!

      TL; DR: Article count is down in part due to strategy and in part due to all of us juggling many things, comments being down is something we can’t control but we hope you guys get chatty!

      • 0 avatar
        CoastieLenn

        Thanks for the reply, Tim! I completely understand the metrics of “we’re not always just typing”. In no way did I infer (at least intentionally) that the dip I’ve noticed is due in any part to site or publishing quality, but just that something feels… amiss and was looking for corroboration or rebuttal on that sentiment. I appreciate your input and look forward to things to come!

        • 0 avatar
          Tim Healey

          Oh, no worries! We’re just really in a slow news period right now, in addition to what I said. I expect things to pick up as we move into summer.

          • 0 avatar
            theflyersfan

            @Tim Healey – Not sure if this is allowed by your site bosses, but I would really suggest allowing user-submitted reviews. There are some good writers here, based on their comments, and it could be a new car, used car, or everyone’s favorite: the rental car. Or give this idea a try for a few months and review the quality of reviews and writing that comes your way. All of the comments and interaction doesn’t have to be the same (very tired) repeated arguments over and over again with political posts. We interact with each other in the comments all of the time with other articles.

            Now I’m waiting for an article on how the leaked Supreme Court document will impact the auto industry….
            (I’m kidding)

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      “but mostly noticing it in the comment section”

      1. Most of the “engagement heavy” articles (QOTD, B/D/B, Ace of Base, car buying tips) haven’t been posted in awhile.
      2. Automotive YouTube competition is getting stiff.
      3. General malaise over the Earth.

      • 0 avatar
        redapple

        Ajla… agree with your 3.
        I ll add

        4- Stories on BEV grow in number and generate few comments. Check the numbers yourself. ( the folks dont care about BEV? I know i dont)

        5- As covid recedes, the folks are doing tons of things that we have not been allowed to do. Less time staring at laptop.

        6- Commenters that used to sit at home in there jammies. Now they are in offices where “the man” might catch em screwing off on non work sites.

        • 0 avatar
          theflyersfan

          @redapple – #6, 100% yes. I’ve been back in the office for over almost 2 years now after having 2 months WFH, but I was in the minority due to my position and critical projects needed to be completed. Now everyone is back. And I have IT-related projects lined up through 2023. Money is being spent again here and we’re finally getting our servers and networking equipment we’ve been waiting on for months.

          (I’m typing this while running some tests on new equipment)

          I agree – many of us here are just a lot busier than we were even at the beginning of the year. I try to catch up on articles and comments during downtime and evenings, but even then it gets tough!

          I’ll also add 4a to your comment: Same with crossover articles. There’s only so many comments that can be made on yet other melted blob with bad slash design week after week after week. Another 2.0L Turbo-4 (yawn). Overdone LED light assemblies (been there, done that). iPad on dash, crummy menu system – everyone does that now.

          And add 8: Auto shows. Either they are virtual or scaled back. It was a rite of passage each year to wait for the curtain to drop on another new car or truck. Now we have the news months in advance. But they used to get a lot of comments.

          9. I miss Farago and Lieberman. Farago had no problems pulling punches and bringing us along for the ride. Not sure what he’s doing these days.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      Definitely less content that drives chatty commenting lately, except for the political stuff. Give us some meaty reviews or a good B/D/B and we’ll all be back at it.

      I’ve also been going through a bit of a life transition lately (nothing bad) and so haven’t been spending as much time here; given the circumstances of the last couple years, I suspect I’m not the only one.

    • 0 avatar
      ToolGuy

      @CoastieLenn,
      It is definitely not just you.

      @Anyone,

      The way to increase reader engagement/commenting (along rational peaceful paths) is to offer the opportunity for people to give their own perspective/opinion about vehicles. This industry is endlessly fascinating if you approach it correctly, and has way more facets than ‘this is the press release I was handed from the manufacturer.’

      ‘Question of the Day’-type content would be remarkably easy for staff to produce (if T.H. could hang onto staff), largely self-managing and nonconfrontational. Everything ajla said in his point #1, plus repair tips, ‘If I Were a Product Planner,’ ‘My First Car,’ ‘My Next Vehicle Purchase,’ ‘How to Buy a New Car,’ ‘How to Buy a Used Car,’ ‘How to Sell a Car,’ ‘My Time at Company XX,’ (OEM, supplier, dealer, mechanic, scrapyard, insurance company, whatever) — we could go on for days with thought-starters. Some people here have an amazing depth of knowledge, but you have to draw them out (occasionally we still see nibbles of interest – it isn’t too late).

      The ‘Best’ product reviews get slid in under the radar now, which avoids the negative comments about mercantilism, but recycling two-year-old comments means no new input from readers (which sucks all around). Those reviews could be so much more if properly managed.

  • avatar
    dukeisduke

    “Here’s hoping CEO Felisa will have something concrete for us soon.”

    Hearing his age, the word “concrete” made think of funeral vaults (the concrete boxes that caskets are set into).

    As my grandfather once said, “one foot in the grave, and one foot on a banana peel”.

  • avatar
    dukeisduke

    Who built the DB-5 shooting brake in the lead photo? An outside coachbuilder? Was it bespoke?

    • 0 avatar
      Matt Posky

      It was built by Radford. I’m not an expert on Aston but I do know that David Brown hired the company to build a handful of DB5s he could use to haul around pets and rich-guy recreational equipment. I believe Radford also built a few shooting break versions of the DB6. All are super rare, produced in the single digits.

  • avatar
    Arthur Dailey

    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.

  • avatar
    Haywire

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

    • 0 avatar
      Matt Posky

      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).

Read all comments

Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Recent Comments

  • dal20402: Ride height has conquered all. Ask the average consumer and they will tell you the Kicks is a “neat...
  • Corey Lewis: At no point have I claimed to be the first person to discuss an automotive topic. Anything older than...
  • Mustangfast: “It’s almost impossible to find a stripper” I know, I checked both the club and the street and none were...
  • RHD: “November 19, 1956… that’s the day I invented the Flux Capacitor!” Preliminary drawings...
  • RHD: So you are advocating the largest mass murder in human history? Even for a troll, that’s sinking pretty...

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Who We Are

  • Adam Tonge
  • Bozi Tatarevic
  • Corey Lewis
  • Jo Borras
  • Mark Baruth
  • Ronnie Schreiber