Bentley taps former Jaguar Land Rover executive Straughan to run manufacturing

Article by Christian Andrei, on February 2, 2011

Starting Feb. 7, Michael Straughan will be responsible for manufacturing at Bentley Motors Ltd. Straughan, a Jaguar Land Rover executive, will succeed Doug Dickson, who will retire later in the year. In a Bentley statement, Straughan said that the opportunity was “too good” to pass up and so he now looks forward to “helping shape the strategic direction of Bentley.”

He said that the first thing he’ll do is to immerse himself in the Crewe operations and the Volkswagen Group.

Straughan, as a board member for manufacturing, will report directly to the chairman and CEO of Bentley, Wolfgang Duerheimer, who succeeded Franz-Josef Paefgen on Feb.1.

In the statement, Paefgen said that Straughan has the “broad experience, expertise and commitment” to help maintain Bentley’s hallmarks of quality, craftsmanship and excellence.

He also described Straughan to have the commercial prowess to help Bentley as it goes into full production of the flagship Mulsanne and the new Continental GT. At Jaguar Land Rover, Straughan was operations director for the Halewood plant in Merseyside, England.

He has also worked for Nissan Motor Co., Volvo and LDV, where he worked for several manufacturing plants both in the UK and abroad, and held a wide range of roles, from operations, material planning, and logistics, to manufacturing engineering and specific processes.

Doug Dickson, Michael Straughan’s predecessor, has overseen the transformation of Bentley’s manufacturing operations into one of the most highly skilled production sites in the United Kingdom. Dickson will be taking charge of a number of strategic projects within Bentley until his official retirement in 2011.

Paefgen thanked Dickson for his contribution to Bentley in the past 12 years. He added that Dickson has been an inspirational figure to everyone, adding that he is one of those behind Bentley’s renaissance.

Once he assumes his new post, Straughan will have responsibility over Bentley’s manufacturing operations including production, planning and logistics as well as lean operations and general plant operations.

Straughan remarked that coming to Bentley as a member of its Board was too good an opportunity to turn down, noting that the carmaker boasts of an illustrious history and a bright future.

He quipped that while he is looking forward to helping shape Bentley’s strategic direction, he first wants be immersed in the Crewe operations and the wider Volkswagen Group. Straughan is a native of the North East of England and is married with two children.

Press Release

Michael Straughan to succeed Doug Dickson as Board Member for Manufacturing

Bentley Motors today announced the appointment of Michael Straughan (49) as the new Board Member for Manufacturing. Michael Straughan will commence this role on 7 February 2011 and will succeed Doug Dickson, who will be taking responsibility for a number of strategic projects prior to his retirement from the business later in the year.

Michael Straughan joins the Company from Jaguar Land Rover where he was Operations Director for the Halewood plant. In a career that has also included spells at Nissan, Volvo and LDV, he has extensive experience in a number of manufacturing plants both in the UK and abroad. Roles have included operations, material planning and logistics, manufacturing engineering as well as a variety of specific processes. He has extensive experience in lean manufacturing, new product introduction and is a Fellow of the Institution of Engineering and Technology. He has also been very active in the wider business environment as a Board Member of both the Liverpool and Knowsley Economy Boards as well as Chairman of the North West Automotive Alliance.

As a member of the main Bentley Board, Michael Straughan will report directly to the new Chairman and Chief Executive of Bentley Motors, Wolfgang Dürheimer, who succeeds Dr Franz-Josef Paefgen on 1 February. Speaking about the appointment, Dr Paefgen said:

“We have been looking for a successor to Doug Dickson for some time and firmly believe we have got the right man for the job. Michael Straughan has the broad experience, expertise and commitment which will help us maintain the levels of quality, craftsmanship and excellence that are the hallmarks of Bentley. He also has the necessary commercial prowess to help Bentley through an exciting but challenging time as we move into full production of both the flagship Mulsanne and the new Continental GT.”

Michael Straughan succeeds Doug Dickson who has overseen the transformation of Crewe’s manufacturing operations into one of the most highly skilled facilities in the UK. He will now take responsibility for a number of strategic projects within Bentley until he retires later in 2011. “I would also pay tribute to the contribution Doug Dickson has made to the business over the past twelve years,” said Dr Paefgen. “He has been an inspirational figure to everyone and one of the main people behind the renaissance of Bentley.”

Michael Straughan will direct all the Company’s manufacturing operations including production, planning, logistics, lean operations and general plant operations.

“This was too good an opportunity to turn down”, said Michael Straughan on his appointment. “Bentley has such an illustrious history but also a very bright future so it is a privilege to join the Board of the Company. I am really looking forward to helping shape the strategic direction of Bentley but I first want to get fully immersed in the Crewe operations as well as the wider Volkswagen Group.”

A native of the North East of England, Michael Straughan is married with two children and already has a home in Cheshire.

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