Jaguar design director Julian Thomson will leave the British firm at the end of the month after less than two years in the role.

The reasons for the departure are unclear, but a Jaguar statement said he will explore other exciting opportunities outside of Jaguar Land Rover. Reports online suggest that he could be headed to India to work for nascent EV maker Ola Electric.

Thomson has been at Jaguar for more than 21 years, following 12 years at Lotus – where he penned the original Elise – and a brief spell in Germany for Volkswagen working on production and concept vehicles.

During a two-year stint as advanced design director at Land Rover, he was involved in the design of the radical LRX concept, which would go on to become one of the company’s most important models: the Range Rover Evoque.

He was also a member of the team that created the final designs for Jaguar models including the XE, XF and F-Type, and he was appointed design director in 2019 when predecessor Ian Callum departed to pursue other avenues. 

Upon hearing the news, Callum tweeted: “So sad and disappointed to see Julian Thomson leave Jaguar Design. Especially at a time when Jaguar needs directors of such a high calibre, leadership skills and talent. I wish Julian the very best for whatever he does next. He will be sorely missed.”

JLR CEO Thierry Bolloré said: “Julian has always endeavoured 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.”

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This breaking news story is being updated.

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