Runnacles bows out at troubled Jaguar

Beleaguered car marque loses global marketing chief as he opts for voluntary redundancy

Jaguar global marketing director Martin Runnacles has stepped down from the embattled luxury car company to take early retirement. He is being replaced by long-term Jaguar marketer Stephen Perrin, who moves from director of strategy.

Runnacle’s retirement follows a torrid time for the car manufacturer. The company was this week hauled before MPs to explain a radical restructure after heavy losses announced in September.

Ford, Jaguar’s owner, is making 1,150 redundancies across Jaguar’s business, including marketing, selling its Formula One team and is to halt car production at Jaguar’s historic Browns Lane factory in Coventry (MW September 23, 2004).

It is believed that Runnacles elected to take the voluntary redundancy package offered, despite attempts to persuade him to stay at the company. Jaguar chairman Joe Greenwell, a former marketer, this week said the company faced a perilous financial future and that its marketing strategy will change.

Runnacles was appointed to the top marketing job at Jaguar in 2002 (MW May 23, 2002) replacing Phil Cazaly. Runnacles was previously global marketing director for Rover, leaving that struggling British marque before its controversial disposal for &£10 by BMW in 1999 (MW April 1, 1999). Before that he had worked for BMW, Volvo and advertising agency J Walter Thompson.

Ford now intends to merge many of Jaguar’s back-office operations with British luxury marque Land Rover, which it also owns. Both brands use Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe/Y&R for their advertising – part of a global alignment with WPP Group agreed by Ford.

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