New car production stopped briefly at Aston Martin as the workforce welcomed the company’s new chief executive Dr Andy Palmer today on his first day in the job.
Palmer, a British-born chartered engineer, chartered manager and businessman with 35 years of automotive industry experience, started his tenure by introducing himself to assembled staff of the Gaydon, Warwickshire headquarters and production facility. Palmer then asked them to pose for a photograph for Twitter.
As the new CEO of Aston Martin Lagonda, he has operational responsibility for all aspects of the Aston Martin business. He will lead the company in its next phase of technology and product creation, succeeding Dr Ulrich Bez, CEO for 14 years.
He described joining Aston Martin from Nissan as a decision of the "head and the heart" and promised to lead the brand into a new era of growth.
Palmer said: “Being asked to lead Aston Martin, an iconic brand with tremendous global recognition and potential, was an opportunity impossible to refuse. Together we will create the next generation of Aston Martin products for the future.”
Palmer started his professional career in 1979 aged 16, as an apprentice at Automotive Products Limited (UK). After six years with Austin Rover, he joined Nissan in 1991 and went on to a 24-year career culminating as chief planning officer.
In 2012, Palmer was named the automotive industry's most influential British executive by Auto Express, and in 2013, the world's third most influential chief marketing officer by the CMO Influence Study, conducted by marketing firm Appinions for Forbes magazine.
Palmer was appointed Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George (CMG) in the 2014 New Year Honours for services to the British automotive industry.