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Premium automakers shake up managements before end of year

Confirmed and speculated management changes and restructures are shaking up premium automakers as the year comes to an end.

British supercar brand McLaren Automotive was the first to make the news, by appointing Andreas Bareis as its new managing director for the Middle East and Africa (MEA) region.

Bareis has previously served as the executive director of Quality at McLaren’s Technology Centre in England.

He succeeds Ian Gorsuch, who headed the region since 2013. It was announced that Gorsuch will be taking on a new role as the sales and marketing director for McLaren Special Operations.

McLaren Special Operations, the automaker’s bespoke division, is a seemingly natural step for Gorsuch as he has dealt with clients from the Middle East, who are known for their interest in personalising and customising their cars to further stand out.

Only a day later, a report from Italy gained traction in international media, speculating about a change in the top management at the Italian manufacturer of luxury sports cars, Lamborghini.

The report, by Italy’s La Gazzetta dello Sport, claims that Lamborghini’s current CEO, Stephan Winkelmann, could be soon replaced by Stefano Domeniciali, the former head of Ferrari Formula One, who joined Lamborghini’s parent company, Audi, in 2014, almost directly after resigning from Ferrari.

It was first speculated that Domeniciali would head a new Formula One entry for the German automaker.

However, Audi denied the claims earlier this year, but speculations have resurfaced, saying that Domeniciali could be negotiating for the top post. Rumours even included the current CEO, stating that he could be up for a new post at Audi Quattro GmbH, the automaker’s performance division.

Moreover, British engineering company Rolls-Royce has announced the removal of an entire layer of management, in an effort to further cut costs after the company has issued more than four warnings in less than two years.

This was regarded as the first major move by the company’s new head, Warren East, who took on the sticky post earlier this year and announced a new wide-ranging restructure last November.