Charles Morgan, of the famously family-owned Morgan Motor Company, has resolved to appeal the company’s decision on Monday to remove him entirely from daily operations.
Morgan, despite being grandson of company founder H.F.S Morgan, was nevertheless replaced as managing director last March. At the time, Autocar reported that Morgan would stay involved as a company figurehead and strategy director, while Steve Morris would step up from his role as operations director. Monday, the company publicly announced that it would completely cut ties with Morgan.
A press release from Morgan’s parent company, Morgan Technologies Ltd., reads: “Over recent months, and in response to the growth in volumes, model range and overseas markets, the management team has been strengthened across a number of different areas, reflecting the scale and complexity of an increasingly global business.”
This predictably glib announcement did not sit well with Charles Morgan, who expressed his frustration to Autocar.
“As a family member I think I should have been consulted about this press release because it suggests that it comes from all of the family shareholders.
“It fails to explain what the decisions were back in January. It confuses growth in volumes with growth in sales and doesn’t suggest whether we are responding to either. And it also suggests that I resisted overseas markets and global expansion when I was the one going abroad.”
Morgan, who began working full-time for his family’s Malvern, England-based company in 1985, had been the face of the company since his father Peter’s passing in 2003.
Under his leadership, Morgan Motor Company made some major headway in modern design and engineering. Models such as the Morgan AeroMax and the Aero SuperSports, which along with the Aero 8 that debuted in 2001, represented a marked departure from traditional styles which had hardly changed at all in decades. Despite these forward-thinking moves, Morgan’s legendary hand-built quality and distinctly British personality remained intact.
The company responded in turn with another generic explanation: “The Morgan family recognizes the management contribution that Charles has made to the family business as Strategy Director, and confirm that he remains a shareholder.
“However, to ensure continuing success, Morgan must look to strengthen and review its strategies, and acknowledges that our management team are better placed to steer the company in the future.”
For a company whose identity is so closely tied to its family-ownership and operation, this is quite a significant development that has confused a lot of people. Although the company maintains that March’s management shuffle was amicable, and that Charles Morgan still remains a 30 percent shareholder, there’s sure to be more than a few uncomfortable silences at the next Morgan family get-together.
While Charles Morgan’s Twitter feed has been quiet in terms of his own tweets, his ferocious retweeting of disgruntled and disappointed Morgan enthusiasts makes his feelings apparent enough. Surely more news will surface pending the outcome of Morgan’s appeal, but it is clear that he isn’t the only one who thinks that this whole ordeal is ash-backwards.