Aston Martin Hires Nissan Exec Andy Palmer as CEO

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Aston Martin Lagonda Ltd., the century-year old sports car manufacturer, based in United Kingdom announced the appointment of Andy Palmer as chief executive officer.

Palmer is the executive vice president, chief planning officer and member of the executive committee of Nissan Motor Co Ltd (ADR) (OTCMKTS:NSANY). He is a British-born chartered engineer, chartered managed and businessman with 35 years of experience in the automotive industry.

Palmer is responsible in supervising the corporate planning, program management, electric vehicles, global marketing communications, global sales and IS/IT of the Japanese automaker.

Aston Martin’s most ambitious period of investment

“We’re delighted that Andy will join us as our new CEO at this important time at Aston Martin. Andy’s wealth of experience on the global automotive stage in marketing and sales, engineering and technology, and luxury and brand management will be instrumental in taking Aston Martin forward through its most significant and ambitious period of investment to date,” according to the shareholder board of Aston Martin.

As CEO of Aston Martin, Palmer will lead the company in the next phase of its technology and product development, and will be responsible in all the operational aspects of Aston Martin’s business.

He will succeed Ulrich Bez, the former CEO of Aston Martin, who stepped down from his position after his 70th birthday.

Palmer will assume his new position as CEO after completing the transition period from Nissan Motor Co Ltd (ADR) (OTCMKTS:NSANY), according to Aston Martin.

Nissan’s comment over Palmer’s departure

According to Chris Keeffe, spokesperson for Nissan Motors Co Ltd (ADR) (OTCMKTS:NSANY), Palmers departure will not affect the company’s business. Philippe Klein, the executive vice president at Renault will assume the role of chief planning officer.

Over the past 13 months, Palmer is the fourth senior executive to resign from the Renault-Nissan partnership. Last year, Carlos Talaveras left to join Peugeot SA (EPA:UG) as CEO. Johan de Nysschen, the head of Infiniti left to lead the Cadillac brand of General Motors Company (NYSE:GM) while Simon Sproule, the communications chief of the partnership resigned and joined Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA).

Aston Martin is well-known for its vehicles featured in James Bond movies. The British sports car maker plans to invest $827 million to develop new models by 2017. The company sold 4,200 sports cars last year, and it aims to shift its business to a niche manufacturer.

Ashvin Chotai, managing director at Intelligence Automotive Asia, commented, “It’s a bit of a risky move. Aston Martin is a fairly small player” facing “a lot of challenges.” He added that if Palmer will be able to turn the company around, “the rewards are big.”

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