Design (Multiple Models)
Gerry McGovern, 64
Chief Creative Officer, Jaguar Land Rover
TITLE: Chief Creative Officer
COMPANY: Jaguar Land Rover
BASED: Gaydon, England
One of the longest-serving design heads globally, McGovern was appointed to lead Land Rover's styling in 2006 and can claim much of the credit for the brand's continued ability to compete against SUVs sold by its much larger premium German rivals. McGovern made his mark at Rover, where he led the design for the MGF sports car as well as the original Land Rover Freelander. After a stint at Ford's Lincoln unit, McGovern returned in 2004 to Land Rover, which had switched to Ford ownership. He was promoted to Land Rover's board two years later. He was recently promoted to the post of chief creative officer at Jaguar Land Rover.
REASON FOR WINNING
McGovern's successful reinvention of the Defender off-roader has paid off with sales of almost 10,000 in the third quarter this year. In addition, smart reboots of the brand's best-seller, the Evoque compact SUV, and the related Discovery Sport have put Land Rover's global sales back on track. McGovern's ability to give each model in the brand's all-SUV range a distinct character and imbue even the largest vehicles with a surprising level of elegance makes him arguably Land Rover's Most Valuable Player.