Lotus CEO Mike Kimberley has announced his retirement as the head of the U.K. based sports car maker due to medical reasons. The 70-year-0ld Kimberley has been suffering from severe back pain, underwent surgery in 2008 and has now been advised by his doctors to resign his position.
"Sadly, it is on doctor's orders that I am stepping down but I will leave confident that Lotus is in great shape with a strong management team fully supported by our shareholder in Malaysia," Kimberley said in a statement. "It'll be very hard to leave knowing that there are such exciting times ahead but I'll take with me many very happy memories. I want to extend my thanks to the company's shareholder for their unfailing support, my management team and the wonderful staff both at Hethel and at our various operational locations throughout the world. Most of all I want to thank our Lotus customers and loyal fans worldwide for their support over the years."
Kimberley started his career with Jaguar in 1953 and has since worked in the automotive industry for 56 years. He joined Lotus in 1969, leaving in 1992 to pursue other opportunities with companies like General Motors and Lamborghini, before returning to Lotus in 2006.
Since then Kimberley has over seen the production of the Evora, as well as the expansion of Lotus Engineering, a world renowned high-tech engineering firm.
Kimberley will officially retire on tomorrow, July 17th.
More: Report: Lotus CEO Mike Kimberley Retires on AutoGuide.com