Norton announces new CEO and Tech Chief ahead of new model drive

Norton announces TVS Motors has selected Dr Robert Hentschel and Vittorio Urciuoli as its new CEO and Technical Chief, just over a year since its takeover


Norton has confirmed its first major managerial appointments since being saved from collapse by TVS Motors just over a year ago, announcing Dr Robert Hentschel as its new CEO and Vittorio Urciuoli joining as Chief Technical Officer.

One of the industry’s most storied firms with origins that can trace roots back more than 100 years, Norton found itself perilously close to bankruptcy in February 2020 amid a brewing scandal over a pensions fraud case involving its erstwhile CEO Mr Stuart Garner.

However, after TVS Motors stepped in with a rescue deal to bring the British marque under its wing, the firm has been in the midst of getting the factory back up and running, as well as opening a new headquarters in Solihull earlier this year.

While it has been more than a year since TVS’ takeover, the arrival of Mr Hentschel and Mr Urciuoli marks the most significant change to Norton’s day-to-day management structure for more than a decade. 

“TVS has created a plan for Norton to transform into the future,” said TVS managing director Sudarshan Venu in announcing their arrival  “The brand will retain its core values which will be interpreted in a modern way for the customers of today and tomorrow. As part of this we are excited to welcome on board a new management team led by Robert to lead this next phase of the journey. 

“His passion for customers, brands and the future of mobility will be of immense value to Norton. Vittorio has a tremendous commitment and track record of creating world class products, which is key to the future of the brand.

“Both of them are strong engineers with pedigree on the world stage. Along with the entire TVS team, I look forward to working together with them for the revitalisation of one of the world’s most storied brands.

“Over the last 12 months, we have ensured that our clear strategy for the transformation of Norton has been delivered with significant improvements to the product and the creation of a world class manufacturing facility in record time. Now, Norton is ready to move to the next phase of its journey.”

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank John Russell for his accomplished leadership, experienced judgement and clear vision that he has displayed during his time as interim CEO of Norton. Under John's tenure, with investment and support from TVS, Norton has returned to a firm footing and made marked improvements to engineering and product quality, which will be seen in the updated V4SS that will be launched soon.

"In addition, we have established a new, state-of-the-art global design, engineering, manufacturing and sales and marketing HQ in Solihull. Thanks to John and many other colleagues’ exceptional endeavour, Norton is poised to move to the next stage of its rebirth and deliver significant growth.”

The management reshuffle comes as Norton prepares for a new model offensive that is set to see the Commander and Atlas models updated, plus a refreshed V4SS sportsbike