Jaguar has announced that Managing Director Mike O'Driscoll will retire from the company early next year, at least from his day-to-day duties. The charismatic executive has been on-board at the Leaping Cat since the company was still part of the Ford portfolio. He helped usher Jaguar out from under the glare of the Blue Oval and into the hands of India's Tata Motors. From there, O'Driscoll was among the key hands in the introduction of the new XF, XK and the super-sexy XJ.

No one's saying exactly how O'Driscoll will spend his days after he officially retires in March of next year, though Jaguar says that he will stay on as the chairman of Jaguar Heritage. There, he'll help manage the company's expansive collection of vintage machines.

We can't blame him for holding onto that gig.

At the moment, Jaguar is remaining tight-lipped about who will take O'Driscoll's place once he steps down, but then again, they've got a few months or so to sort it all out. Hit the jump for the brief press release.

[Source: Jaguar]

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Mike O'Driscoll, Managing Director Jaguar Cars, has today announced his intention to retire from day-to-day operations at Jaguar Land Rover at the end of March 2011.

Mike moved to the UK from the United States in 2007 to take up the position of Managing Director, following Ford's announcement of its plan to sell Jaguar and Land Rover. He led the Jaguar brand through the sale process to Tata, and oversaw the introduction of an all-new product line-up comprising the award-winning XF, XK, and new XJ.

Mike commented: "Being part of the team that rebuilt this great brand has been a huge privilege and a gratifying way to sign off my long career with Jaguar. The resurgence is symbolized by the wonderful reaction to our new products and to the stunning C-X75 supercar concept we showed at the recent Paris auto show."

Dr Ralf Speth, Chief Executive Officer, Jaguar Land Rover said: "I would like to express my gratitude to Mike for his commitment and dedication to Jaguar Cars. His passionate leadership has been vital to Jaguar during this time in its history. He will return to his home in the U.S., and we wish him all the very best for the future."

Mike has agreed to continue as Chairman of Jaguar Heritage and will advise on related matters. Jaguar Heritage is an independent trust that manages Jaguar's museum, archives and extensive car collection globally.

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