Aston Martin to put Bentley boss Adrian Hallmark in driving seat

He will replace Amedeo Felisa by October as the luxury car maker's third leader in four years

Aston Martin's new Vantage, one of three cars it launched last month. Photo: Aston Martin
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Luxury car maker Aston Martin has named the boss of Bentley, Adrian Hallmark, as its next chief executive, signalling the third change in leadership in four years.

Mr Hallmark, who will take over from Amedeo Felisa at Aston Martin by the beginning of October this year, has been chairman and chief executive at Bentley since 2018. He is widely credited with turning the company's fortunes around and delivering a 10-fold increase in profits in five years.

“Like many working within the ultra-luxury segment, I have admired the continued transformation of Aston Martin’s brand and products from afar,” Mr Hallmark said.

“The transformation of Aston Martin is one of the most exciting projects within the ultra-luxury automotive industry. I am looking forward to continuing the company’s great momentum and utilising my experience and passion to further unleash this iconic brand’s potential and take it to even greater success.”

Mr Felisa will stay on as Aston Martin's chief executive until Mr Hallmark takes up the post, the company said, while new Aston Martin products are introduced, including its third next-generation sports car, due for launch this year.

“In Adrian Hallmark, we are attracting one of the highest calibre leaders not just in our segment, but in the entire global automotive industry,” said Lawrence Stroll, executive chairman of Aston Martin.

“Complementing our world-class leadership, Adrian will bring to Aston Martin unrivalled experience in both the ultra-luxury and British manufacturing sectors to progress our strategy and continue recent momentum.”

Mr Felisa, 78, who has been at Aston Martin for less than two years, came from Ferrari where he had been chief executive when the sports car company was owned by Fiat.

“It has been a great privilege to serve as Aston Martin’s chief executive, leading our iconic brand through this exciting era,” he said.

“I am incredibly proud of the progress made over the last two years, which has aligned Aston Martin for a positive future direction. I believe now is the right time to allow the company to transition to new leadership.”

Bentley said on Friday that Mr Hallmark had joined six years ago “in a challenging business situation” and that his leaving was by “mutual consent”.

The Volkswagen-owned brand said it would announce his successor in due course.

Pedal to the metal

It's been a busy time for Aston Martin lately. Last month it launched three cars on the same day: the new Vantage, the competitive racing model of the Vantage – the Vantage GT3, and its new Formula One car.

Earlier this month, Aston Martin finalised a £1.15 billion ($1.4 billion) refinancing plan aimed at easing investor concerns over the company's balance sheet.

Raising capital has been a near-constant quest since Mr Stroll rescued Aston Martin four years ago, and since 2022 the likes of Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, China’s Zhejiang Geely and the EV maker Lucid have taken stakes in the carmaker.

Updated: March 25, 2024, 6:29 AM