Martin Leach, a former Ford Motor executive who led the automaker's European unit and also ran Maserati before taking a top position at electric carmaker NextEV, has died. He was 59.
His death was announced in a Twitter post by NextEV. The Tweet linked to a report on Motorsport.com, which said the cause was cancer.
Leach joined NextEV, a maker of high-tech hypercars with headquarters in Shanghai and San Jose, California, as co-president in 2015. He ran its racing team, which won the first Formula E series title for electric-powered vehicles in London in 2015. The company has operations in six locations in Europe, Asia and the U.S. and plans to build a global work force of 5,000 employees before the end of 2017, Autocar magazine reported last month.
Leach worked at Ford for 28 years, including as president and COO of the automaker's European division from 2002 until 2003. He also served as corporate vice president and managing director of Mazda, the Japanese automaker in which Ford once owned a one-third stake, from 1996 to 2000.