Aston Martin sacks chief Andy Palmer after shares plunge

Aston Martin is sacking its chief executive, Andy Palmer, following a 98% collapse in the luxury car company’s share price since it floated on the stock market less than two years ago.

The company, famous for making James Bond’s favourite car, is expected to announce on Tuesday that it is replacing Palmer, who has served as Aston Martin’s CEO since 2014, with an executive from Mercedes.

Palmer told the Financial Times, which first reported the news, that he was unaware he was due to be sacked and declined to comment further.

An Aston Martin spokesman said on Sunday: “The company confirms that it is reviewing its management team and a further announcement will be made as and when appropriate.”

Palmer is expected to be replaced by Tobias Moers, the CEO of Mercedes-AMG, the high-performance division of the German car maker.

Aston Martin’s shares have collapsed from £19 a share when the company floated in October 2018 to 35p on Friday. That pushes its market value to less than £600m, compared with more than £4bn on flotation.

Earlier in May, the company reported that losses had ballooned to £119m in the first three months of the year as the coronavirus pandemic caused the already struggling British car maker’s sales to plunge across the world. The company sold only 578 cars to dealers in the first quarter, down 45% from the same period in 2019.

Lawrence Stroll, who became executive chair of Aston Martin after leading a £536m rescue deal in March, had said he was enthusiastic and confident about the future of the company.

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