Boutique British sports car maker Morgan has booted its former boss, Charles Morgan, from the company that has borne his family name for over 100 years.
The grandson of the company’s founder Henry Morgan was removed from the Morgan board this week, sparking an online revolt from employees in support of the 62 year old.
Charles Morgan stepped down from the role of managing director earlier this year, and has since retained the title of ‘ambassador’ and board member for the historic brand.
However, the company’s current managing director Steve Morris announced this week that Charles Morgan would no longer have any role within the organisation – with his removal forming part of a company restructuring.
Supporters and staff have taken to Twitter to express their disapproval of the move. One employee tweeted: “We can’t believe the company is not being run by a Morgan family member. The general feel around the factory is we would like Charles Morgan back.”
“Can’t see how the current management team can be better placed than Charles Morgan to lead the organisation,” said another supporter. One abruptly noted: “Morgan without Charles Morgan isn’t Morgan. Idiots are throwing away their heritage gold card.”
Morgan replied to his Twitter supporters: “Thanks from the depth of my heart. You are the lifeblood of the company.”
At a conference of business leaders this week, Morgan --who has pledged to appeal the decision-- implied that a family feud could be behind the move, citing his sister and his brother-in-law as relatives who still hold a key role in the family’s finances.
Charles explained that he holds a 30 per cent share in the company, and is a beneficiary of a trust whose two trustees share 48 per cent of the company. “One of the trustees is the husband of my sister. My sister has a 10 per cent holding. At this stage this is all I am prepared to discuss,” Morgan said.
The Morgan Motor Company was established by Henry Morgan in 1910, who ran it until his death in 1959. Charles’ father Peter succeeded him until he was replaced as chairman by non-family director Alan Garnett between 2003-06.
From then, the company was run by a four-man management team that included Charles before he became managing director in 2010.
The Morgan Motor Company is set to sell a record 1200 vehicles in 2013 from its range of classic sports cars that start at £33,000 ($55,420) in the UK. In Australia, Morgan currently retails three versions of its classic roadster, kicking off with the Plus 4/4 model at $72,600, and topped with the Morgan Roadster at $129,900.