Ralf Speth

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Sir Ralf Speth

Ralf Speth - Range Rover Global Reveal.jpg
Ralf Speth at the unveiling of the 2012 Range Rover
Ralf Dieter Speth

(1955-09-09) 9 September 1955 (age 66)
NationalityBritish, German
Alma materWarwick Manufacturing Group
OccupationAutomotive industry executive
Known forFormer CEO of Jaguar Land Rover
SuccessorThierry Bolloré

Sir Ralf Dieter Speth KBE FRS (born 9 September 1955)[1] is a British-German automotive executive who was the chief executive officer of Jaguar Land Rover[2] from 2010 to 2020. He has also had roles with BMW, Linde and Ford's Premier Automotive Group.


Speth was awarded a degree in Engineering from the University of Applied Sciences Rosenheim, Germany. He later undertook a Doctorate of Engineering in Mechanical Engineering and Business Administration at the University of Warwick.[3]


Speth started his automotive career with BMW in 1980 and worked for them for 20 years.[4]

In 2002, he joined The Linde Group and served as head of global operations and as vice president of operations. He was also chief operating officer and a member of the executive board at its subsidiary KION Group GmbH.[5]

In 2007, Speth returned to the car industry and joined Ford Motor Company's Premier Automotive Group (PAG) as director of production, quality and product planning. Following the sale of two of the PAG marques, Jaguar and Land Rover, to Tata, he became chief executive officer of Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) in February 2010, and a non-executive director of Tata Motors in November 2010.[6]

Under Speth's management, JLR increased the company's workforce significantly. "We have added more than 17,000 people in the course of the last five years," he said in an interview published in June 2015.[7] Speth championed the need for R&D and made much of JLR's investment in R&D. "I guess we are the biggest R&D investor in the UK in the automotive business," he claimed.

In the 2015 Special Honours list, Speth was appointed an honorary Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire for his services to the automotive industry.[8] In August 2019, the award was made substantive following Speth becoming a British citizen.[9][10]

In September 2016, Speth was appointed as an honorary professor, having previously been an industrial professor.[11]

On 25 October 2016, Speth was appointed as an additional director on the board of Tata Sons.[12] On 30 January 2020 he announced his intention to retire from his role as CEO of JLR effective September 2020, but remain on both the JLR and Tata Sons boards.[13] He entered into a non-executive role in the company and was succeeded by the CEO of Renault, Thierry Bolloré.[14]

In 2020 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society.[15]

Personal life[edit]

He is married, with two children, and lives between Leamington Spa and Munich.[16]


  1. ^ "Dr Ralf Speth,Chief Executive Officer". Design Council. Archived from the original on 28 June 2012. Retrieved 21 January 2013.
  2. ^ "Dr. Ralf D. Speth, Chief Executive Officer of Jaguar LandRover Limited, poses next to a new Jaguar F-Type". Driving.ca. 27 September 2012. Retrieved 21 January 2013.
  3. ^ "Ralf D. Speth". Bloomberg. Retrieved 21 January 2013.
  4. ^ "Dr Ralf Speth, CEO Jaguar Land Rover". Design Council. Archived from the original on 28 June 2012. Retrieved 21 January 2013.
  5. ^ "Ralf Speth: Resurgent Jaguar Land Rover shifts up a gear". The Independent. 23 October 2011. Retrieved 31 October 2014.
  6. ^ "Ralf D. Speth". Bloomberg Businessweek. Retrieved 28 November 2014.
  7. ^ "R&D Investment Makes Good Business Sense". Ingenia. Retrieved 14 May 2015.
  8. ^ "Honorary British awards to foreign nationals - 2015" (pdf). GOV.UK. 26 March 2015.
  9. ^ "CENTRAL CHANCERY OF THE ORDERS OF KNIGHTHOOD | Honours and Awards | the Gazette".
  10. ^ "The future of Jaguar Land Rover, according to CEO Ralf Speth".
  11. ^ "Two senior Jaguar Land Rover staff become Professors at WMG". warwick.ac.uk. Retrieved 3 April 2018.
  12. ^ Ralf Speth, N. Chandrasekaran join Tata Sons Board
  13. ^ "JLR CEO Ralf Speth to retire Sept; remain on Tata Sons board: Tata Motors". Business Standard India. Press Trust of India. 30 January 2020.
  14. ^ Tovey, Alan (28 July 2020). "Jaguar Land Rover names former Renault boss Thierry Bolloré as new chief". The Telegraph. Retrieved 28 July 2020.
  15. ^ "Ralf Speth". Royal Society. Retrieved 20 September 2020.
  16. ^ "JLR chief: Car industry 'most complex on earth'". The Telegraph. 29 September 2012. Retrieved 21 January 2013.
Business positions
Preceded by
CEO of Jaguar Land Rover
Succeeded by