Press Report : JLR names former Ford, BMW exec Speth as CEO

Paul McVeigh, Automotive News Europe, 18th February, 2010

Jaguar Land Rover said it has appointed former BMW Group and Ford Motor executive Ralf Speth as CEO. Speth, 54, has 22 years experience in the auto industry, mostly with BMW. His last job with the German premium carmaker was as Vice President of Land Rover when BMW owned the brand.

Speth became Director of Production, Quality and Planning for Ford’s Premier Automotive Group (PAG) when BMW sold Land Rover to Ford in 2000. He was most recently Head of Global Operations at German industrial gases and engineering company Linde Group.

Speth worked closely with current Linde Chairman Wolfgang Reitzle at BMW, PAG and Linde. Reitzle, a former No. 2 at BMW, was head of PAG overseeing the Volvo, Jaguar, and Land Rover marques between 1999 and 2002.

At Jaguar Land Rover, Speth succeeds David Smith, who resigned as Jaguar Land Rover CEO in January. Speth will report to former General Motors European head, Carl-Peter Forster, who earlier this week was appointed as Group CEO of Tata Motors, which bought Jaguar Land Rover from Ford in 2008.

Ravi Kant, Tata Motors’ Vice Chairman, said the appointments of Speth and Forster will enhance the position and reputation of the Jaguar Land Rover brands in line with Tata’s long-term strategy.

[Source: Automotive News Europe]

Clive Goldthorp

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