Jaguar’s legendary director of design Ian Callum departs after 20 years; successor Julian Thomson assumes the mantle

Julian Thomson, Jaguar’s director of design, effective July 1, 2019.

After two decades heading up Jaguar Design, Ian Callum, director of design, is leaving his position at the company.

Julian Thomson, currently creative design director, has been appointed to the role of director of design, effective July 1, 2019.

Since joining Jaguar in 1999, Callum has built a world-class creative design team, established a new design philosophy and revived the range with award-winning designs. These include F-Type—Jaguar’s first two-seater sports car since the iconic E-type, the XE, XF and XJ saloons and the marque’s first SUVs—F-Pace, E-Pace and, most recently, the all-electric I-Pace, which in April was crowned 2019 World Car of the Year, World Car Design of the Year and World Green Car.

Callum spent the first 12 years of his career at Ford Design Studios, moving on to become chief designer of TWR Design, where he was responsible for the Aston Martin DB7, Vanquish and DB9. Widely regarded as one of the world’s foremost automotive design talents, in 2005 he was awarded the title of Royal Designer for Industry from the RSA. In 2014, he received the Minerva Medal—the highest accolade bestowed by the Chartered Society of Designers, awarded for a lifetime’s achievement in design.

“I have had an incredible career at Jaguar,” said Callum. “One of my biggest highlights was creating XF because it

Despite relinquishing his position as Jaguar’s director of design for 20 years, Ian Callum will continue to work for Jaguar as a design consultant.

represented the beginning of a new era moving Jaguar from tradition to contemporary design—it was a significant turning point in our story. Designing the F-TYPE was a dream come true for me, and I-Pace was an opportunity to create something hugely innovative that would really challenge the perception of Jaguar—and its success is testament to just how far the brand has come.

“I came into this role with a mission to take Jaguar design back to where it deserved to be. It has taken 20 years, but I believe I have achieved what I set out to do. Given the strength of both our products and the design team I feel that now is the right time to move on, both personally and professionally, and explore other design projects. Designing Jaguar cars was a lifelong dream for me and I’m delighted to remain involved as a consultant for the brand. I have worked closely with Julian Thomson for 18 years—he is a hugely talented designer and absolutely the right person to lead Jaguar design into its next chapter.”

Callum’s successor Julian Thomson joined Jaguar in 2000 and has overseen the development of the design concepts for the entire current product range. He began his career at Ford in Dunton, England, before moving to Lotus, where he became head of design, then chief of exteriors at Volkswagen Group’s Concept Design Centre.

“It will be a great privilege to lead such a talented team, and continue to build on our success,” said Thomson. “Automotive design has always been fast moving, but today it is changing at a rate faster than ever before. I’m passionate about ensuring Jaguar Design leads that change and the cars that will drive our future.”