Aston Martin poaches CEO of rival Bentley

Aston Martin has taken a major step by poaching rival Bentley's CEO to lead the London-listed carmaker, marking its third leadership change in four years.

Adrian Hallmark, 61, who led a successful turnaround at Bentley under Volkswagen ownership, will now take the helm at Aston Martin. During his tenure, Bentley experienced a remarkable ninefold increase in corporate profits since the start of the pandemic.

This appointment comes as Aston Martin executive chairman Lawrence Stroll continues to navigate the company's journey since providing a £182 million bailout in 2020. Hallmark will succeed 77-year-old Amedeo Felisa, who was previously CEO of Ferrari and led Aston Martin's product range. strategy team. Felisa took on the role in 2022, replacing Tobias Moers, who was ousted by Stroll.

Hallmark is expected to assume his new position no later than October 1 and leave Bentley by mutual agreement. Commenting on his new role, Hallmark expressed his excitement about Aston Martin's transformation, highlighting it as one of the most compelling projects in the ultra-luxury automotive sector.

Under Felisa's leadership, Aston Martin shares almost halved, plunging 93% from their debut price in 2018. The iconic car brand, synonymous with James Bond, faced challenges such as high debt and significant losses, exacerbated by production delays that hampered progress toward profitability.

Stroll praised Hallmark as one of the most highly regarded leaders in the global automotive industry and expressed confidence in its ability to move Aston Martin forward.

Despite production delays to the launch of the £185,000 DB12 sports car, Aston Martin reported 6,620 car deliveries to dealers last year, slightly below the revised target. Pre-tax losses fell from £495m to £240m, reflecting some improvement.

Aston Martin recently secured a £1.15 billion refinancing deal, although its leverage ratio remained above target at the end of last year.

Following the announcement of Hallmark's appointment, Aston Martin shares rose modestly, signaling some optimism among investors about the company's future direction.

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