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All’s well, says Rolls-Royce after CEO quits

Rolls-Royce has taken action to reassure its dealers worldwide following the sudden resignation of its chairman and chief executive Karl-Heinz Kalbfell.

The Goodwood-based carmaker has notified the 68-strong network – of which six are in the UK – that their interim chairman will be Stefan Krause, who already sits on the BMW AG board in Munich, while a permanent replacement for Kalbfell is sought. Kalbfell has left to join another unnamed automotive company.

A spokesman for Roll-Royce Motor Cars says the resignation came “completely out of the blue”. He adds: “The important thing to note is that Rolls-Royce is in great shape, and Kalbfell made a terrific contribution to that. We are very sad to see him go.”

Kalbfell, 54, headed Project Rolls-Royce for BMW from 1999 until the spring of 2002, when former Rolls-Royce & Bentley Motor Cars chief executive Tony Gott took over. In May this year Kalbfell resumed the role following Gott’s sudden departure “by mutual consent”. Gott had joined the comp-any in 1985 as a senior designer.

Unlike VW-owned Bentley, which sold 385 cars in September, Rolls-Royce’s official UK registration figures are buried in a section termed “other British” by the SMMT. The total figure for “others” in September was 114 units.

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