Big changes are happening at Jaguar.
When legendary designer Ian Callum quit Jaguar after 20 years to form his own automotive design company, there were some big shoes to fill. In 2019, Julian Thomson stepped in to replace Callum as Jaguar's Design Director to oversee the automaker's future design direction. This role was short-lived, because less than two years later Thomson is leaving Jaguar at the end of this month to pursue new opportunities.
He has worked at Jaguar Land Rover for 21 years. Before joining Jaguar in 2000 as Advanced Design Director, Thomson worked at Lotus for 12 years, where he became Head of Design and penned the iconic Elise. He also worked on production and concept cars for Seat, Volkswagen, Audi, and Bentley.
Between 2006 and 2008, Thomson was appointed as Advanced Design Director for Land Rover, where he helped pen the design for the LRX concept. This radical concept spawned the Range Rover Evoque, one of Jaguar Land Rover's best-selling models. He was also part of the team that designed the XK, XF, XJ, F-Type, XE, F-Pace, E-Pace, and the electric I-Pace.
"Julian has always endeavored to be a champion of creativity, diversity and building a fair and positive work culture. I would like to thank Julian for his great work, leadership, dedication and significant contribution and wish him every success in the future," Jaguar Land Rover CEO Thierry Bollore said in a statement.
His departure comes at a pivotal time for Jaguar Land Rover. Since Bollore was appointed as the company's new CEO, Jaguar Land Rover announced a dramatic change in direction to become an electric-only brand by 2025.
"So sad and disappointed to see Julian Thomson leave Jaguar Design. Especially at a time when Jaguar needs directors of such a high caliber, leadership skills and talent," Jaguar Land Rover's former design director Ian Callum wrote on Twitter. "I wish Julian the very best for whatever he does next. He will be sorely missed."
It isn't known what path Thomson will take next, but reports claim he is moving to India to work for the electric carmaker Ola Electric.