The board of struggling Aston Martin (AML.L) has confirmed the exit of chief executive Andy Palmer, following a dreadful run for the luxury carmaker on the public markets.
Aston Martin said in a statement on Tuesday that Palmer had agreed to step down as president and group chief executive after discussions with the board.
Mercedes-AMG chief executive Tobias Moers will replace him, taking up the role on 1 August. Aston Martin’s manufacturing chief Keith Stanton and executive chairman Lawrence Stroll will take charge of operations in the meantime.
News that Aston Martin was considering getting rid of Palmer first broke over the weekend. Palmer told the press he was not aware of these plans.
Palmer has run James Bond’s car maker since 2014 but has struggled since the company went public in 2018. Shares have fallen over 90% since listing and the company made a loss of £100m ($123m) last year. The company was forced to raise £500m in a rescue deal in January.
Chairman Stroll said on Tuesday: “The Board has determined that now is the time for new leadership to deliver our plans.”
Canadian F1 billionaire Stroll joined Aston Martin at the start of the year after investing £200m as part of the rescue deal.
He thanked Palmer and said he was “delighted to welcome Tobias to Aston Martin Lagonda”.
“He is an exceptionally talented automotive professional and a proven business leader with a strong track record during his many years at Daimler AG,” Stroll said. “He is the right leader for Aston Martin Lagonda as we implement our strategy for the business to achieve its full potential.”
Mercedes-AMG, where Moers currently works, is the high performance subsidiary of Germany car giant Daimler AG (DAI.DE). Daimler has a 5% stake in Aston Martin and supplies the carmaker with Mercedes-AMG engines.
Shares in Aston Martin jumped over 30% on confirmation of Moers’ appointment.
Moers said he was “excited” to join the company and saw “significant opportunity to harness the strengths of the business to successfully deliver the planned product expansion and brand elevation”.
Palmer said in a statement: “It has been a privilege to serve Aston Martin Lagonda for almost six years. The launch of many new products including the new DBX demonstrates the dedication and capability of our employees.
“I would like to thank my management team and all the staff for their hard work and support, particularly during the challenges presented by COVID-19. I am proud of you all and it's been an honour to work with you.”