Aston Martin replaces CEO Tobias Moers with ex-Ferrari boss Amedeo Felisa

aston martin replaces ceo tobias moers with ex ferrari boss amedeo felisa

Aston Martin has hired former Ferrari boss Amedeo Felisa as CEO and ex-Ferrari engineer Roberto Fedeli as chief technical officer.

Felisa replaces Tobias Moers as CEO. Moers will leave the automaker’s board with immediate effect but will support the new leadership team until the end of July, Aston Martin said in a statement on Wednesday.

Felisa, 76, was Ferrari CEO from 2008 to 2016. He ran product development at Fiat Chrysler’s Alfa Romeo division before joining Ferrari. Felisa is currently a non-executive director of Aston Martin. 

Aston Martin said Fedeli will start as CTO on July 1. The Italian national was Ferrari’s technical director from 2006 to 2014. Fedeli is considered the creator of the La Ferrari, the Italian company’s first hybrid supercar, as well as some of its most iconic models, Aston Martin said.

Fedeli also worked for BMW, where he launched the i8 plug-in hybrid roadster into production. He returned to Italy in 2016 as CTO for Alfa Romeo and Maserati.

‘Collapsing morale’

Moers is leaving Aston Martin after presiding over a collapse in morale at the automaker because of his “robust management style,” the Financial Times said.

The former head of the Mercedes-AMG performance division was hired as Aston Martin’s CEO in 2020 by its billionaire chairman, Lawrence Stroll, who led a bailout of Aston Martin and wants the company to be more like Ferrari with more customized car orders.

Stroll told Reuters that Moers had stabilized the company when it “needed immediate manufacturing, operation attention,” but now Aston Martin needed a CEO to “focus on the bigger picture.”

“Nobody knows how to make ultra-luxury performance cars better than Amedeo,” Stroll said. “He saw the movie, he wrote the script.”

Aston Martin has been struggling financially since a disappointing IPO in 2018. It has been battling setbacks in its turnaround plan with a slower-than-expected ramp-up of the Valkyrie supercar.

The automaker on Wednesday reported a pretax loss of 111.6 million pounds ($139.15 million) for the first quarter, compared with a loss of 42.2 million pounds a year earlier. Wholesale vehicle shipments fell 14 percent in the quarter.

Aston Martin said orders for the DBX SUV rose about 60 percent in the three months through March. The company delivered 14 Valkyries in the period, compared to its full-year target of as many as 90.

New organizational structure

Aston Martin said Felisa will focus on delivering the company’s continued strategic objectives, financial targets and roadmap toward electrification.

He will implement and lead a new organizational structure with a focus on broadening the technical team through the promotion of internal talent, together with strategic external hires to be announced in the coming weeks, the automaker said.

Aston Martin plans to have hybrid variants of all its models in the next two years, with the first fully electric cars by 2025.

The latest appointments come just months after Chief Financial Officer Kenneth Gregor left the automaker. Aston Martin in January named Doug Lafferty from fuel retailer Vivo Energy as its new CFO.

Jefferies analyst Philippe Houchois wrote in a client note that the new CFO and the appointment of Felisa “will hopefully help stabilize management across the company.”

Felisa and Fedeli have been working with U.S.-Chinese startup Silk-FAW, which plans to build high performance electric cars in Italy and China. It is not clear if they are keeping their roles with Silk-FAW.

Reuters and Bloomberg contributed to this report


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