Archive : BAe loses Rover saviour

Carole Nash Classic Insurance Specialists

THE GUARDIAN, By Simon Beavis

British Aerospace has lost the fight to hold on to one of its key directors with confirmation that George Simpson, the groups deputy chief executive and chairman of Rover, is leaving to take control of Lucas Industries.

Mr Simpsons move to Lucas–where he will become chief executive of the motor components and aerospace engineering group–had been widely predicted but was only officially announced yesterday. He will take up the post next May. The move is a blow to BAe where Mr Simpson has been credited with turning round Rover and reshaping the groups construction and property interests. Observers believe that there is also now little prospect that Rover will be floated off from the group, a scheme which Mr Simpson favoured.

But his appointment is a much needed boost to Lucas, which has been battered by recession and whose chairman and chief executive, Sir Anthony Gill, has been searching for a successor since his heir apparent, Tony Edwards, quit as group managing director a year ago after a boardroom split. Sir Anthony will stay on as non-executive chairman.

In October, the Birmingham based group announced a doubling of profits to £50.3 million, after heavy cost cutting for the year to the end of July…

Mr Simpson, aged 51, moved into the motor industry in 1969 and became managing director of the Rover Group in 1988. He joined the main BAe board three years later. Commenting on his appointment he said : “My experience at Rover and BAe tells me that there are few more competitive business sectors than automotive and aerospace, and I understand fully the magnitude of my new challenge.”

Keith Adams

Keith Adams

Editor and creator AROnline at AROnline
Created www.austin-rover.co.uk in 2001 and built it up to become the world's foremost reference source for all things BMC, Leyland and Rover Group, before renaming it AROnline in 2007.

Is the Editor of the Parkers website and price guide, formerly editor of Classic Car Weekly, and launch editor/creator of Modern Classics magazine. Has contributed to various motoring titles including Octane, Practical Classics, Evo, Honest John, CAR magazine, Autocar, Pistonheads, Diesel Car, Practical Performance Car, Performance French Car, Car Mechanics, Jaguar World Monthly, MG Enthusiast, Modern MINI, Practical Classics, Fifth Gear Website, Radio 4, and the the Motoring Independent...

Likes 'conditionally challenged' motors and taking them on unfeasible adventures all across Europe.
Keith Adams

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