Tata Motors, the parent company of Jaguar-Land Rover, said on January 30 that the Ralf Speth, Chief Executive of the two British brands, will retire in September and a hunt for his replacement has started.
N Chandrasekaran, Chairman of Tata Sons and Tata Motors, said: “I want to thank Ralf for his passion and commitment over the last 10 years. Ralf developed JLR from a niche UK centric manufacturer to a respected, technological leading, global premium company."
"I am delighted that Ralf has agreed to maintain his relationship with JLR by becoming a Non-Executive Vice Chairman. A search committee has been formed which will work with me to identify a suitable successor in the coming months," he said in a Tata Motors' statement.
Speth will continue to remain on the board of Tata Sons.
His retirement from an executive role is one of multi, high profile exits from JLR in recent years. In the middle of last year, JLR’s CFO Kenneth Gregor stepped down after serving 11 years with the company.
Ian Callum, JLR's design head, quit the company after 20 years last year, while Fiona Pargeter, Head of Customer Experience, quit the company a few week ago after spending less than two years.
Speaking on his exit, Speth said in a statement, “I feel very honoured to have worked with so many dedicated and creative people, both inside and outside of JLR. I want to say thank you for all their support and commitment.”
Speth had joined JLR as CEO in February 2010 and later that year he joined the Tata Motors’ board. In 2016, he joined the board of Tata Sons.
It was under Speth that JLR recorded the biggest-ever quarterly loss in India’s corporate history of about $4 billion. He is set to leave the company as it battle challenges in China, increased competition from luxury car makers, increased restriction on emissions and shift to electric mobility.
Prior to joining JLR, Speth was a Director at The Linde Group, the international industrial gases and engineering company. He had previously worked at BMW for 20 years before joining Ford Motor Company’s Premier Automotive Group in 2007.
Ralf has a Doctorate of Engineering and is a Professor at the University of Warwick.