Aston Martin CEO Abruptly Resigns, Replaced by Ex-Ferrari Boss

Moers, the former Mercedes-AMG chief, led the Gaydon automaker for two years before being replaced.

byJerry Perez| PUBLISHED May 4, 2022 10:54 AM
Aston Martin CEO Abruptly Resigns, Replaced by Ex-Ferrari Boss

Aston Martin announced Wednesday morning that its CEO Tobias Moers, the former Mercedes-AMG boss responsible for establishing the crucial technical partnership between the German and British automakers, was to step down from the role with immediate effect (though some sources claim he will remain at Aston in an unspecified role until July). His replacement? Former Ferrari chief Amedeo Felisa.

During an investor call for Aston Martin's Q1 earnings, Aston Martin Chairman Lawrence Stroll went into slight detail regarding the sudden, rather surprising executive-level shake-up, per AN.

"Amedeo is with us for the foreseeable future," said Stroll during the call. "I don't think I've met a more energetic gentleman in my life. He is up for this task. No-one else has seen the movie and written the script like Amedeo has done at Ferrari for what we're trying to accomplish."

Questions were raised about Felisa's long-term future at Aston, not because of his previous work experience, but because of his age. Despite Stroll describing the Italian—who holds a degree in mechanical engineering—as extremely energetic, it's easy to see how the fast-paced lifestyle of a global CEO could be a bit much for the 76-year-old executive. Stroll refuted suggestions of Felisa's role being merely interim, claiming that Aston's future steps under his leadership were about growth, innovation, and scale.

"Amedeo is with us for the foreseeable future," Stroll said. "[Moers] was much more about cleaning up operationally, about improving manufacturing, about solidifying the supply chain and coming to a new agreement that was reached with Mercedes," said the OEM and F1 team boss. "That was phase one. And for that Tobias [Moers] did an excellent job."

Tobias Moers introducing the Aston Martin DBX 707 in Sardinia, Italy in March 2022.

Frankly, this comes as a surprise, especially given that just six weeks ago I found myself having dinner with Moers in Italy during the Aston Martin DBX707 media drive. Over the course of two hours, Moers went into detail about the lengthy clean-up job he had to perform at Aston, and how his strategy for success involved forgetting about the "wholesale days" when the factory produced multitudes of non-bespoke cars and just shipped them to dealers. During Moers' reign, Aston focused on becoming a proper supplier of bespoke, premium sports cars, where customers ordered customized cars while moving the entire sales process upmarket. No more flooding dealers with stock.

Whether Moers was aware at the time or not—my guess is yes—big boss Stroll positioned him as a mere interim CEO during Aston's struggle years from 2020 through 2022. And while the automaker is not out of the woods just yet given overall operational setbacks, including those surrounding the delayed Valkyrie hypercar, the strategic relationship between AMG and Aston would've never resulted in what it is today without Moers' involvement.

"My immediate objective will be to implement a new organizational structure," new Aston boss Felisa said during the call, according to AN. And while he did not offer specifics, it is known that former Ferrari CTO Roberto Fedeli was also named Aston Martin's new chief technical officer during this recent shuffle.

By the looks of it, Aston's future success (or lack of it) will be greatly influenced by passionate Italians and former Ferrari miracle-workers. Only time will tell.

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