Jaguar Director of Design Ian Callum announced his retirement from the company, bringing an end 20 years of leading the look of the British brand's vehicles. He plans to remain available as a design consultant for the automaker and hints about not necessarily giving up on being a designer. Callum hands the reins over to Julian Thomson, the current Creative Design Director, on July 1.
Callum started his auto design career at Ford in 1979, and then became Chief Designer of TWR Design in 1991. He did some important work there, including leading the teams responsible for the Aston Martin DB7, Vanquish, and DB9. He joined Jaguar in 1999, at a time when the British automaker was part of Ford's portfolio of brands.
"I came into this role with a mission to take Jaguar design back to where it deserved to be. It has taken 20 years, but I believe I have achieved what I set out to do," Callum said in Jag's announcement of his retirement "Given the strength of both our products and the design team I feel that now is the right time to move on, both personally and professionally, and explore other design projects."
Gallery: Jaguar C-X75 was almost given a reprieve
On Twitter, Callum also expressed disappointment about not being able to put the CX-75 supercar (gallery above)into production. The concept debuted at the 2010 Paris Motor Show, and this version of the vehicle used four electric motors and a turbine engine for charging the batteries. A later evolution used two electric motors and a Cosworth-developed 1.6-liter four-cylinder turbocharged and supercharged engine making 502 horsepower (374 kilowatts).
Julian Thomson has been with Jaguar since 2000. His current job has put him in charge of "the development of the design concepts for the entire current product range," according to the company. Like Callum, Thomson began his automotive career at Ford, but he also held roles as Head of Design at Lotus and Chief of Exteriors at Volkswagen Group's Concept Design Centre.
LEGENDARY JAGUAR DIRECTOR OF DESIGN IAN CALLUM DEPARTS AFTER 20 YEARS; JULIAN THOMSON NAMED AS SUCCESSOR
Images are for editorial use only, and not for promotional purposes.
Jaguar today announced that Ian Callum, Director of Design, is to leave his position at the company after two decades heading up Jaguar Design. Julian Thomson, currently Creative Design Director, has been appointed to the role of Director of Design, effective 01 July.
Jaguar’s Ian Callum to leave role of Director of Design after 20 years
Award-winning saloon, sports car and SUV designs have transformed Jaguar’s vehicle range
Julian Thomson promoted to Director of Design, effective 01 July 2019
Ian to continue to work with Jaguar as a Design Consultant
Since joining Jaguar in 1999, Ian has built a world-class creative design team, established a new design philosophy and revived the range with award-winning designs. These include F-TYPE – Jaguar’s first two-seater sports car since the iconic E-type – the XE, XF and XJ saloons, and the marque’s first SUVs – F-PACE, E-PACE and most recently the all-electric I-PACE, which in April was crowned 2019 World Car of the Year, World Car Design of the Year and World Green Car.
"I have had an incredible career at Jaguar. One of my biggest highlights was creating XF because it represented the beginning of a new era moving Jaguar from tradition to contemporary design – it was a significant turning point in our story. Designing the F-TYPE was a dream come true for me, and I-PACE was an opportunity to create something hugely innovative that would really challenge the perception of Jaguar – and its success is testament to just how far the brand has come. I came into this role with a mission to take Jaguar design back to where it deserved to be. It has taken 20 years, but I believe I have achieved what I set out to do. Given the strength of both our products and the design team I feel that now is the right time to move on, both personally and professionally, and explore other design projects. Designing Jaguar cars was a lifelong dream for me and I’m delighted to remain involved as a consultant for the brand. I have worked closely with Julian Thomson for 18 years – he is a hugely talented designer and absolutely the right person to lead Jaguar design into its next chapter."
JAGUAR DIRECTOR OF DESIGN
Ian spent the first 12 years of his career at Ford Design Studios, moving on to become Chief Designer of TWR Design, where he was responsible for the Aston Martin DB7, Vanquish and DB9. Widely regarded as one of the world’s foremost automotive design talents, in 2005 Ian was awarded the title of Royal Designer for Industry from the RSA. In 2014 he received the Minerva Medal – the highest accolade bestowed by the Chartered Society of Designers, awarded for a lifetime’s achievement in design.
"The contribution Ian Callum has made to Jaguar’s industry-leading design reputation cannot be over-stated. Ian stands for the most forward-thinking, rule-breaking and emotive approach to automotive design. He has created a new Jaguar design language – and his passion for Jaguar has seen the range completely transformed during his 20 years in charge. Innovative, beautiful, future-facing and true to our pioneering heritage, Jaguar’s current and award-winning cars are testament to Ian’s dedication – you can see his ‘signature’ in each and every one. In my view, the World Car Design of the Year winning F-TYPE, F-PACE and I-PACE – true game changers – are perhaps his greatest achievements. I believe they will be future icons. Both personally, and on behalf of everyone at Jaguar, I would like to thank Ian for all he has done, and I am delighted he has committed to continue to be Jaguar’s brand ambassador as a design consultant. I’d also like to congratulate Julian in his new position as Director of Design. Now is Julian’s time to shape his team, and the next generation of Jaguars. I am excited about the future for Jaguar, and Julian continuing the brand’s position as a world-leader in automotive design."
PROF. DR RALF SPETH
JAGUAR LAND ROVER CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER
As Creative Design Director, Julian Thomson has been responsible for establishing the future strategic design direction for the brand. Since joining Jaguar in 2000, he has overseen the development of the design concepts for the entire current product range. Julian began his career at Ford in Dunton, England, before moving to Lotus, where he became Head of Design, then Chief of Exteriors at Volkswagen Group's Concept Design Centre.
"I'm honoured to take up the position of Director of Design, Jaguar. It will be a great privilege to lead such a talented team, and continue to build on our success. Automotive design has always been fast moving, but today it is changing at a rate faster than ever before. I'm passionate about ensuring Jaguar Design leads that change, and the cars that will drive our future."
JAGUAR CREATIVE DESIGN DIRECTOR