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Edwards, Former Jaguar Director Has Died

Jaguar Cars Ltd is saddened to announce the death on the 22 February of Ken Edwards, Jaguar’s former Director of Personnel.

Born in Oxford in 1925, he was educated at Southfield Grammar School, Oxford and at Oxford College of Technology.

Ken enjoyed a long and highly successful career in the British Motor Industry which spanned almost 50 years. He became a Chartered Engineer, a Fellow of the Institute of Production Engineering and a member of the Institute of Mechanical Engineering and the Institute of Electrical Engineers.

Ken spent the first 30 years of his career with the Pressed Steel Company where he started as a student apprentice in Product Engineering in 1941. After becoming Senior Research and Development Engineer he was selected for the Company’s two year Executive Development Programme and later the Harvard Business School Advanced Management Course. He returned to become Divisional Personnel Director of Pressed Steel in 1965 and in 1970 Personnel Director of Pressed Steel Fisher.

With the merger of Pressed Steel with BMC and eventually Leyland Cars, Ken became Personnel Director, Austin Morris Group. Ken first joined Jaguar in 1973 as Director, Personnel but this was only to be a brief association as he moved back into Leyland Cars in 1975 and later the JRT organisation as Director, Business Planning and Timing. Ken’s second spell at Jaguar began in May 1980 when he came back as Director Personnel and Company Secretary - one of the key executives in John Egan’s team which resurrected the Company during the 1980s.

Ken’s wide ranging experience was almost unparalleled in the motor industry. He was involved with many of the major organisational changes which have become milestones in the industry’s history.

During the 10 years Ken spent at Jaguar he played a major part in firstly the privatisation of the Company in 1984 and then in the preparation of the organisation for the Ford acquisition in 1989. He was also instrumental in establishing an independent Jaguar Daimler Heritage Trust in 1983 which brought together many fine vehicles from the Company’s past. Ken was always a doughty defender and promoter of Jaguar and following his retirement in March 1990 he maintained a very close and active relationship with the Company as a member of the JDHT Board of Trustees. Ken was delighted to have been present at the opening of the new Jaguar Daimler Heritage Trust Museum at Jaguar’s Browns Lane headquarters last December, a project which had been close to his heart.

Nick Scheele, Jaguar Chairman and Chief Executive paid the following tribute,

"Ken Edwards will be sadly missed by everyone at Jaguar, as a former Director, a loyal friend to the Company and as an active member of the Jaguar Daimler Heritage Trust Board. His contribution to Jaguar over many years of service was simply immense. Our deepest sympathies are with Jessie, Bronwen and Neil."

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CWN / Motoring / Newswire / Jaguar / 26 Feb 99

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