In the auto industry, the name Jaguar is usually spelled Ian Callum. The 64-year-old British-born has been the man in charge with how the carmaker’s vehicles should look like for exactly two decades, and there’s virtually no Jag on the street today that wasn’t drawn by him or under his guidance.
Callum started his design career at Ford Design Studios (his brother, Moray, is vice president of design for Ford) where he drew cars like RS200 and Escort RS Cosworth. He then moved on to TWR Design, being the man responsible for the birth of the Aston Martin DB7, Vanquish and DB9.
He became head of Jaguar design in 1999. There, Callum made his mark with names like the XE, XF and XJ, the F-Type and the current line of PACE SUVs.
Jaguar did not mention any reason for the designer’s leaving his post, but the man himself hinted he might have something else up his sleeve.
“I came into this role with a mission to take Jaguar design back to where it deserved to be,” Callum said in a statement announcing the retirement.
“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.”
Callum will not be completely out of the loop when it comes to Jaguar either, as he will continue to serve as design consultant.
His shoes as design director will be filled by Julian Thomson, one of Callum’s closest co-designers for the better part of his career.