BIRMINGHAM, England - The Phoenix consortium is finalizing a Rover management team drawn mainly from existing Rover people.
There is one major exception: Kevin Howe has been appointed chief executive of Rover after six months at Rolls-Royce Aerospace.
But even Howe knows Rover. He worked for the company from 1988 to December last year. He was managing director of the Longbridge plant in the English midlands before leaving for Rolls-Royce Aerospace to become managing director of its fan engine systems division. The first names to join him on the management board are:
Chris Bowen, operations director, who had been in charge of stampings at Longbridge.
Bob Beddow, human resources, a position he has previously held.
John Parkinson, sales and marketing, previously in charge of the Rover brand globally, and more recently covering the UK as well.
John Millett, finance and strategy, who has also been in a similar role at Rover until now.
Nick Stephenson - Rover's product chief until last year - said the consortium will assume the role of a supervisory board but with a more 'hands-on' approach than that normally associated with German companies.
'It seems we have been working nonstop since the deal was struck,' he said. 'We have had to move quickly to sort out the operational aspects of the company. John Towers (former Rover managing director) and I are operating as joint managing directors so that one of us is always around.'
Other consortium members John Edwards (who runs Rover dealerships) and his finance chief Peter Beale have also been at Rover headquarters on a virtual full-time basis.
Other members of the Phoenix consortium are David Bowes, managing director of Lola Cars Ltd., and Terry Whitmore, chief executive of British supplier and engineering group Mayflower Corp.
Stephenson added: 'We have been splitting the business to suit our individual skills. I am in charge of engineering and product development. John Towers is looking after manufacturing, John Edwards sales and marketing and Peter Beale finance.
'There are two jobs to do immediately. One is to keep the business running and the second is to unthread the high level of integration in the BMW group which has been done very effectively.'