Mr Bernard Jackman, 62, managing director of British Leyland’s Rover-Triumph group, has resigned. He was appointed in 1973. He said in a statement yesterday that his decision to leave after some 70 years of family association with the Rover Company should cause no surprise. “I am naturally disappointed to see Rover-Triumph absorbed. British Leyland have an enormous challenge ahead of them and I would not wish to say anything that might make that task harder.”
British Leyland last night confirmed that Bernard Jackman, until three months ago managing director of Rover Triumph, has resigned and left the company. His departure means that both the managing directors in the former specialist car division have quit in the post-Ryder reorganization.
Geoffrey Robinson, the 36-year-old high flier, resigned as managing director of Jaguar early in May.
He insisted that it was a fundamental mistake to amalgamate all British Leyland’s car companies into a single undertaking, British Leyland Cars. Ironically, within days of his leaving, Derek Whittaker, the new car chief, restored much of Jaguar’s old independence by giving it an operating committee and chief engineer answering directly to him. Jackman’s resignation was widely predicted. Indeed, the only surprise in yesterday’s announcement was that it has taken so long in coming.
Even though theirs has been one of the most tightly run operations in the group, with an excellent record, Rover Triumph sales executives were by-passed when the top jobs were handed out in the new all embracing sales and marketing department set up by Keith Hopkins, the group’s former public relations chief.
John Carpenter, 49, sales and marketing director of Rover Triumph, resigned in the wake of these sales appointments. Last night Jackman said: “My decision to leave the corporation is one which should cause no surprise. After some 70 years of family association with the Rover company I would find it difficult to continue. I am naturally disappointed to see Rover Triumph absorbed within the new car group.”
Jackman, who is 62, joined the old Rover company in 1939 as chief planning engineer, but had a long spell away before returning in 1964 as production director. He was appointed managing director of the merged Rover Triumph company in 1973. It is understood that Jackman has already been offered seats on the boards of three companies, including a motor components group.