After nearly 14 years at the helm of Rolls-Royce, Chief Executive Officer Torsten Müller-Ötvös will step down on November 30, 2023. He has been the longest-serving CEO in RR’s history since Claude Johnson, the man responsible for bringing together the company’s founding fathers Charles Rolls and Henry Royce back in 1904.
When Torsten became CEO in 2009, Rolls-Royce’s annual sales hovered around 1,000 units but have since exceeded 6,000 cars. In 2022, the brand set an all-time record by delivering 6,021 vehicles. The ultra-luxury marque is proud to say no vehicles that leave the factory in Goodwood are identical, as each and every car is tailor-made to the customer’s personal preferences.
The lineup has grown in the 14 years that have passed as RR was selling only the Phantom and Ghost in 2009. While the Wraith coupe and Dawn convertible have come and gone, the Cullinan SUV and Spectre EV are here to stay. Beyond the “regular” production models, the BMW Group elite brand has also expanded its limited-run offering with special projects such as the Boat Tail and Droptail.
What else has changed during Torsten Müller-Ötvös 14-year tenure? In 2009, the average selling price of a Rolls-Royce was approximately €250,000 but it has basically doubled since then, hitting €500,000. Meanwhile, the average client was 56 years old and now the median age has come down to only 43.
BMW UK CEO since 2021, Chris Brownridge will take the reins of Rolls-Royce from December 1. He has spent nearly three decades within the BMW Group, beginning as a graduate in 1995. Over the years, he’s occupied various roles, including sales director of BMW UK as well as regional director of the BMW and MINI brands in the United Kingdom and Ireland.
The new CEO will have to guide Rolls-Royce to achieve its “ambitious expansion plans” at its headquarters in West Sussex. Recently reelected as BMW CEO until 2026, Oliver Zipse said:
“Chris Brownridge is a hugely experienced professional with a tremendous track record – I am sure he will build on Rolls-Royce’s success and guide Rolls-Royce Motor Cars onwards into its all-electric future.”