Tower quits top post at Rover
Tuesday 30 April 1996
Although Mr Towers, 48, had been vaguely linked to the chief executive's post at Lucas, the announcement of his departure never the less came as a surprise. He will leave Rover and resign from the board in June and go on gardening leave for six months. He is on a salary of about pounds 320,000.
Rover, a subsidiary of Germany's BMW, denied that there had been any dispute over strategy between Mr Towers and the the parent company. Bernd Pieschetstrieder, BMW chairman, paid tribute to him saying the two companies "deeply regret" Mr Tower's departure and paying tribute to his contribution and dedication to Rover's success.
However, observers detected growing signs of tension between Mr Towers and BMW. Earlier this month BMW announced that Rover had made a loss of pounds 148m last year just weeks after Rover had said it made a pounds 92m operating profit. The discrepancy was put down to German accounting rules.
One City analyst, commenting on BMW's pounds 800m purchase of Rover two years ago, said: "When you smash two cultures together that are radically different you generally get smoke and then you get fire. It must have been difficult for any man at the top of Rover to subjugate himself to an alien culture, particularly a German one."
Rover sources said, however, that if anything, Mr Towers had become bored and was looking for a new challenge. He is said to have been think about moving on for more than a year.
Mr Towers joined Rover in 1988 and became chief executive in 1994 after George Simpson left to become chief executive of Lucas. With Mr Simpson leaving this autumn to take over from Lord Weinstock at GEC, it would be a logical move for Mr Towers to follow in his predecessor's footsteps. Mr Towers knows Lucas and its chairman Sir Brian Pearse well and is highly regarded in the motor industry. He sat on the board of Midland Bank when Sir Brian was chairman and Lucas is one of Rover's biggest suppliers. Finance and strategy director Tony Rose will take over as acting chief executive.
Comment, page 19
Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes
- 2 Loom bands: Bids for dress made from colourful rubber pass £170,000 on eBay
- 3 Why I'm on the brink of burning my Israeli passport
- 4 L'Oreal cuts ties with Belgium supporter Axelle Despiegelaere after hunting trip photographs
- 5 The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week
Game of Thrones author George RR Martin says 'f*** you' to fans who fear he will die before finishing Westeros saga
Loom bands: Bids for dress made from colourful rubber pass £170,000 on eBay
Supermoon 2014: When and why will the moon look bigger and brighter this summer?
Tommy Ramone dies: Last surviving founder and drummer seminal punk band The Ramones dies aged 62
Gaza-Israel conflict: The terrible price Palestinian children are paying for Israel’s war with Hamas
Sustained immigration has not harmed Britons' employment, say government advisers
War is war: Why I stand with Israel
7/7 memorial defaced on anniversary of 2005 attacks with ‘Blair lied thousands died’ graffiti
Australia facing international condemnation after turning around Sri Lankans at sea
Even when it brutalises one of its own teenage citizens, America is helpless against Israel
Socialist Worker called to apologise over ‘vile’ article saying Eton schoolboy Horatio Chapple's death is ‘reason to save the polar bears’
iJobs Money & Business
£70000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Information Security Manager (ISO 27001, A...
£75000 - £85000 per annum + ex bens: Deerfoot IT Resources Limited: Biztalk Te...
£60000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Trade Desk Specialist (FIX, Linux, Windows...
£35000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Service Desk Analyst (Windows, Active Dire...