James BrearleyJames Brearley

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Inchcape UK chief executive James Brearley to step down after five years

  • Head of Inchcape’s UK retail business is leaving to pursue a fresh, unspecified challenge
  • Five-year plan to overhaul operating structure is said to have been achieved
  • Chief transformation officer to take on role on interim basis during search for permanent replacement

Time 3 weeks ago

Inchcape’s UK retail business head James Brearley is to leave the company at the end of this year.

Brearley was appointed chief executive in January 2017 after joining as special projects director in April 2016, where he helped develop and bring in aspects of Inchcape’s Ignite optimisation and growth strategy, with a particular emphasis on used cars.

As CEO of Inchcape UK, he was responsible for implementing a new five-year plan to overhaul Inchcape’s operating structure, including digitalising the customer experience and making the most of the used car sector.


Inchcape said today (Nov 12) that the plan had now been achieved and Brearley had decided to leave to take up a new challenge, although it didn’t say what that new challenge was.

George Ashford, who is currently the group chief transformation officer, will assume the vacant role on an interim basis as the search for a permanent appointment takes place.

Group chief executive Duncan Tait said: ‘I am grateful to James for his contribution to Inchcape over the years, and particularly for his work with me in the past year on the development of our new strategy.

‘I am pleased that George has agreed to assume leadership of our UK business, and I look forward to working with George and the rest of the team at what is an exciting time for the business.’


Brearley said: ‘I am delighted that I leave the business in excellent shape, with all brands performing in the upper quartile of the composite and OEM scorecards.

‘This significant achievement is due to the hard work and commitment of a great team of people throughout the business.

‘I am proud to have worked with this team and wish all of them continued success, as I do the wider group.’

John Bowman's avatar

John has been with Car Dealer since 2013 after spending 25 years in the newspaper industry as a reporter then a sub-editor/assistant chief sub-editor on regional and national titles. John is chief sub-editor in the editorial department, working on Car Dealer, as well as handling social media.

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