Hinduja Group’s flagship firm Ashok Leyland on Saturday said former Aston Martin CEO Andrew Palmer has been appointed as non-executive chairman of its British arm Optare Plc. Palmer will replace its long-serving chairman John Fickling, who is stepping down due to personal reasons, Ashok Leyland said. Fickling had more than a decade of association with Optare Plc.
Commenting on the change, Ashok Leyland Chairman Dheeraj Hinduja said, “The next phase of Optare’s growth is centred on expanding our electric vehicles business in the UK and many new markets. To help guide in our mission to become a global leader in this segment, I am happy to announce that Andrew Palmer will be taking the position of non-executive chairman.”
He further said, “With his impressive wealth of experience and innovative approach, I am confident that under Andy’s chairmanship we will see Optare moving to a higher growth trajectory soon.” Hinduja said Fickling played an anchor role in the stability of Optare during crucial periods as chairman of the board.
Palmer, who served as Aston Martin’s CEO from 2014 to May 2020, was also with the leadership team of Japanese auto major Nissan in early part of his career. “This role builds on Palmer’s established relationship with Optare’s parent, Ashok Leyland, where he has been a non-executive member of the board since 2015,” the statement said.