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Ian Callum steps down as head of Jaguar design

What will future Jaguar products look like without Callum involved?

Ian Callum will step down from his role as design director of Jaguar after working with the company for 20 years.

Stepping down to “pursue other design projects”, Callum will be replaced by current creative design director Julian Thompson, though he will remain a consultant to the brand.

The XF was Callum's favourite project to work on at Jaguar. The XF was Callum's favourite project to work on at Jaguar.

Callum is credited with turning Jaguar into the modern brand it is today, and has produced quite a product resume: the XK (2006), XF (2007) and XF Sportbrake, XJ (2009), C-X75 concept (2010), F-Type (2012), F-Pace (2015) and I-Pace (2018). 

Callum began his career in 1979 by designing cars for Ford. After 11 years there, he left to head up TWR Design. 

In 1999, he succeeded the late Geoff Lawson as Jaguar’s director of design, and also directed Aston Martin design for a short time - the two brands were then part of Ford’s Premier Automotive Group. 

Callum also had a hand in designing the original Aston Martin Vanquish. Callum also had a hand in designing the original Aston Martin Vanquish.

He had a hand in shaping the Aston Martin DB7 and DB9, as well as the Vanquish

“I came into this role with a mission to take Jaguar design back to where it deserved to be. It has taken 20 years, but I believe I have achieved what I set out to do, ” Callum said.  

“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. Designing Jaguar cars was a lifelong dream for me.”

The Jaguar XK was the first project that Callum worked on at Jaguar. The Jaguar XK was the first project that Callum worked on at Jaguar.

Callum's successor, Julian Thompson, has been at Jaguar since 2000 and also worked at Ford. Thompson's CV also includes roles as head of design for Lotus and chief of exterior design at the Volkswagen Group.

Is Ian Callum your favourite modern automotive designer? Tell us your thoughts in the comments section below.