Nissan executive vice president Andy Palmer, a performance car champion with an engineering background, has been named CEO of Aston Martin. The famous British sports car brand has been without a CEO for some time, with previous CEO Ulrich Bez stepping down in early 2013, so Palmer’s appointment brings a close to this chapter.
Palmer’s duties at Aston Martin will commence after he completes a transition period from his former employer, where the 51-year-old Brit was in charge of product planning. Replacing Palmer at Nissan is Philippe Klein, a veteran of Nissan alliance partner Renault.
Palmer will assume operational responsibility for all aspects of the Aston Martin business and will lead the company during one of the most important times in its 100-year history. Aston Martin is in the process of developing a new platform that will underpin all of its future models for at least the next decade.
His wealth of experience on the global automotive stage in not only engineering and technology but also marketing and sales, will be instrumental in taking Aston Martin forward through the coming period. His career saw him work briefly at Rover during the 1980s as a transmission chief, and he first joined Nissan as far back as 1991.
Note, Palmer is the third senior executive to have left the Renault Nissan alliance in recent times. In July, Infiniti president Johan de Nysschen quit to take up the reins at Cadillac, and in 2013 senior Renault exec Carlos Tavares jumped ship to head French rival PSA Peugeot Citroën. The Renault Nissan alliance remains headed by Carlos Ghosn.