Last August, Tobias Moers, the former boss of Mercedes-Benz’s AMG division, swept through the doors of Aston Martin’s Gaydon factory to take up his position as the beleaguered company’s new CEO. And promptly fell completely silent. Save the usual PR-scripted quote at the end of some press releases, he said nothing. Nothing that might provide us with any inkling of his vision for the company, how it would recover from the mistakes of its past and define its future.
My requests for an audience were if not declined, then politely postponed, so I was forced to fall back on what I knew. Which was that Moers’ character is about as far from that of Andy Palmer whom he replaced as it is possible to imagine. Palmer is approachable and affable, while Moers has the reputation of having a rather less collegiate approach and scaring motoring journalists in particular.
And yet I’ve interviewed him at least a dozen times and, while he may say otherwise, I always felt we’d got on. The only thing I want a CEO to do is answer the questions I ask. If some of those answers are ‘I don’t know’ or ‘I do know but I’m not telling you’ that’s fine. What I find difficult are those who use my time to answer the questions they’d liked to have been asked. And Moers never, ever does that.