Lotus boss to leave sports car giant
- Credit: Supplied
The chief executive of Norfolk sports car firm Lotus, Phil Popham, is to step down from his position.
Mr Popham, who joined Hethel-based Lotus in the year of its 70th birthday in 2018, has decided to leave to pursue 'personal projects.'
And a new managing director has been appointed.
Former executive director Matt Windle steps into the position after originally starting out at Lotus as a designer more than 20 years ago. Mr Windle, 49, started in 1998 and re-joined the firm to head up the engineering division in 2017.
He takes over immediately although Mr Popham will not official leave until the end of March.
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Lotus Cars’ Vision80 strategy was implemented under Mr Popham.
He is credited with overseeing huge improvements at Hethel and expansions of the business as well as steering Lotus through the pandemic. In 2019, he spearheaded the launch of the Evija – the world’s first all-electric British hypercar.
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Mr Popham said: “Matt Windle is an excellent fit for the senior leadership role at Lotus. He has been an excellent colleague to me since I joined the company, and is a popular and very effective member of the Lotus executive team. He’s a long-standing ‘Lotus Man’ and I’m proud to welcome him as my successor.”
Mr Windle has worked internationally with both high and low-volume manufacturers, including Caterham, Tesla and Volvo, with more than 30 years’ automotive experience behind him.
He said: “It is an honour to be appointed managing director of Lotus. Of the many manufacturers I have worked with over the years, Lotus has been the one closest to my heart. This period since 2018 has been the most exciting of my career and the scale of the global opportunity ahead of us is both inspiring and all-consuming.
“I am proud to follow Phil into the leadership position and he has left a great foundation for me and the team to build on. I am proud to represent our shareholders Geely and Etika as I continue to work with our talented and dedicated team to fulfil the ambition for this wonderful brand and business around the world.”
Feng Qingfeng, chief executive officer, Group Lotus, added: “Our future is extremely bright indeed, with new designs, new technologies and new markets for us to leverage with this precious brand."