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JLR Shakes Up Design Team

  • Greg Fitzgerald
  • Nov 19, 2020

Gerry McGovern and Massimo Frascella behind new Land Rover Defender

Jaguar Land Rover shook up their design team, as part of the changes being spearheaded by new CEO Theirry Bollore. This includes unifying some workflow between the Jaguar and Land Rover departments.

First off, longtime (and sometimes controversial) Land Rover Director of Design Gerry McGovern will take on a new role in charge of design across JLR as Chief Creative Officer. The Tata Group has a mandatory retirement age of 65, which McGovern will hit next year, so it's likely that this is a short-term advisory role to transition out of the company.

The new Land Rover Design Director is Massimo Frascella. The Italian has been at JLR since 2011, after a stint at Kia. He also worked for Land Rover from 2000-2004 as part of the Ford design team. He served as Land Rover's Creative Director from 2019-2020, the Creative Director-Exterior Design from 2014-2019, and Creative Studio Chief from 2011 to 2014.

On the Jaguar side, Julian Thomson holds a similar role.

Where exactly this leads is unknown to the layperson. It may signal changes in the relationship between the Land Rover and Jaguar brands, the latter of which is struggling even after significant product investment. In the meantime, it seems like we are nearing the end of the McGovern era at Land Rover, news which will likely be welcomed by purists in spite of the massive sales successes his designs have become.


  • Written By
  • Greg Fitzgerald
  • Adventure addict. '90s Land Rover daily driver. Historic preservationist. Personal vehicles: 1994 Discovery I, 1994 Range Rover Classic, 1961 Series II.
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