By Clifford Webb Midland Industrial Correspondent
In a move that has surprised his colleagues, Mr Jeffrey Herbert, managing director of BL’s Rover Triumph subsidiary, has resigned. He is leaving the company at the end of this week. Mr Herbert’s departure, confirmed officially last night, comes only 10 days after BL’s announcement that 3,000 Rover Triumph workers are going on to immediate short-time working which could last until Christmas
It also follows soon after the promotion of Mr Harold Musgrove from managing director of Austin-Morris to the chairmanship of Austin-Morris and Rover Triumph. Mr Percy Plant, who had been chairman at Rover Triumph, was moved to a newly created position as executive director of BL Cars. Mr Musgrove’s promotion over Mr Herbert was also accompanied by an internal memorandum from Mr Ray Horrocks, head of all BL car operations. It talked of the need to ” increase the present degree of cooperation” between the volume car side and the specialist car operations.
Mr Musgrove, aged 50, is a former Austin apprentice who has built a considerable reputation in recent years as a manufacturing expert. He is a tough executive who, during the build-up of the £285m Mini-Metro project at Longbridge, has impressed industry observers by his total committment to produce the car on time and meet targeted quality standards. Mr Herbert was not available for comment last night.
A BL spokesman said: “He has made it known that he wishes to widen his already considerable experience in the engineering industry. We do not know if he has a particular job in mind.”
Mr Herbert joined BL from Perkins, the diesel engine manufacturers, in 1977 as director of production and plant engineering for BL Cars.