Jaguar Land Rover announced today that David Smith, who was named as CEO for both brands almost two years ago, has officially left the company. Reports from multiple sources indicate that Ravi Kant, vice chairman of parent company Tata Motors, will serve as an interim CEO.
Smith, 48, started his career with Ford in 1983. He was a finance and strategy guru for Ford’s European operations, according to Automotive News, and was appointed CEO of Jaguar Land Rover in June 2008, after Tata finished its $2.3 billion takeover of the British marques.
Smith had recently indicated resurgence in Jaguar's performance, predicting a 50-percent increase in annual sales in 2010 to be led by the introduction of the next XJ. However, British newspaper The Times reports that negotiations with JLR’s workforce broke down over the weekend, but does not indicate whether this had to do with Smith's exit. Source: Jaguar Land Rover,Times Online (1, 2), Automotive News (subscription required)