Jaguar's Legendary Design Chief Calling It Quits After 20 Years

Industry News

Ian Callum is the man behind legendary models like the F-Type.

After working at Jaguar for 20 years, Ian Callum, one of the auto industry’s most influential designers, is stepping down from his role as Director of Design at Jaguar. Callum says he is leaving the company to "explore other design projects" but will remain a consultant for the brand. Replacing him will be Jaguar’s current Creative Design Director, Julian Thomson, who will become Jaguar's Director of Design on July 1st.

Thomson joined Jaguar in 2000 and has overseen the development of the design concepts for the entire current product range. He first 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 Center.

"I'm honored 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,” said Thomson. "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.”

Since joining Jaguar in 1999, Callum is renowned for establishing the automaker’s new design language and reviving the range with award-winning designs including the F-Type two-seater sports car, and the XE, XF and XJ sedans, as well as Jaguar’s first-ever SUVs, the best-selling F-Pace and the E-Pace, and more recently the all-electric I-Pace. "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,” Callum said.

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"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.”

Callum spent the first 12 years of his career in the auto industry at Ford Design Studios, designing cars such as the Escort Cosworth and RS200. He then went on to become Chief Designer of TWR Design, where he was responsible for the Aston Martin DB7, Vanquish and DB9’s designs.

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