FE team boss Dr Martin Leach dies
Respected car company executive Dr Martin Leach, the co-president of the NextEV Formula E team, has died aged 59.
Leach, who had battled cancer for the last few months, has been remembered as a successful automotive executive who was passionate about his leadership of the NextEV program in the all-electric single-seater championship.
Founder and chairman of NextEV, William Li, announced Dr Leach’s death in a heartfelt statement.
“Today, with the deepest grief, I have to announce that we lost a great friend, a leader and a founding member of NextEV, Dr. Martin Leach, Co-president of NextEV has just left us a few hours ago, after fighting his illness in the past few months,” Li’s statement began.
“I came to know Martin in Oct. 2014, I was surely impressed by his achievements in the industry, and I was deeply touched by his passion in sharing my vision of creating a totally new experience for the automobile users. Since then, Martin had witnessed and participated every step of the NextEV journey.
“In the early days, Martin supported me in creating an excellent leadership team, shaping the company’s value and defining our products, which set the foundation of NextEV.
“Martin continued to lead our performance programs, under his leadership, NextEV achieved the inaugural champion title of Formula E, and our super car will surprise the world soon.
“Martin is a true warrior, lives to the highest standard. Even during his last minutes, he still cared about the progress of the company. I am honored to have Martin as a partner, it is a great loss to all of us, his legacy will stay forever with NextEV. His dedication and his vision will continue to inspire our people to create our glorious history.
“Let’s honor Martin with our very best contribution, let’s remember Martin by completing his mission.
“Together, let’s bring our sincere condolences to Martin’s family. Let’s pray for Martin, rest in peace.
“May racing be with you in heaven, Martin.”
Tributes have been flowing from the automotive and motor racing worlds for Dr Leach who had stints as managing director Mazda, president of Ford Europe and chief executive of Maserati.
He was a co-founder of the NextEV electric car company which took over from what was formerly called Team China in Formula E’s first season.
Leach joined NextEV just before its driver Nelson Piquet jr became Formula E’s first champion in the 2014-15 season.