With a tumultuous two years behind it, Aston Martin could benefit from some stability, writes Steve Fowler.
After just two years, CEO Tobias Moers is the latest senior executive to go through the well worn exit door at Aston Martin. Insiders and former staff members say he was one of the main reasons so many talented and long-serving employees had already left the business; his management style is, apparently, rather blunt.
Sure, the numbers weren’t quite as healthy as shareholders might have wanted and that, no doubt, hastened his departure. But Aston chairman Lawrence Stroll has proved again he’s not afraid of a tough decision.
But is he capable of a right decision? In comes 76-year-old former Ferrari CEO Amedeo Felisa as the new boss. Is that an appointment for the long term? Speaking to investors at Aston Martin’s first-quarter earnings call, Stroll said: “Amedeo is with us for the foreseeable future.
“I don’t think I’ve met a more energetic gentleman in my life. He is up for this task. No-one else has seen the movie and written the script like Amedeo has done at Ferrari for what we’re trying to accomplish.”
So clearly, Stroll has Ferrari in his sights. And joining Felisa is Roberto Fedeli, a former Ferrari chief technical officer, who’s taking the same role at Aston Martin. Further senior appointments are expected in the coming weeks. I wonder how many will have Ferrari on their CVs?
Let’s hope that these changes bring some stability to one of Britain’s greatest brands, after two years of turbulence. What they won’t bring back is some of the talent that has left the business during that period, so are we looking at another reinvention of Aston?
And should it be chasing Ferrari? That’s a tough ask for any car maker with deeper pockets than Aston – and in my view Aston should be finding its own path. It currently has a line-up of good, if not great, GTs, an excellent SUV and a talented workforce. What it desperately needs now is a clear direction for its future from its new bosses. We wish them the best of luck.