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Iconic British lubricant brand Duckhams names new CEO

Historic British lubricants company Duckhams has appointed automotive veteran Mike Bewsey as chief executive officer, the 125-year-old brand announced.  

Bewsey brings multinational oil brand leadership experience to Duckhams as it enters a landmark year and looks to expand its revived global distribution network.

The former lubricants director at major European marketer Moove Europe takes the reins of the world’s first specialist motor oil company. His focus includes steering celebrations around Duckhams crossing the 125-year milestone.

In a statement, Bewsey called Duckhams “a great brand with rich heritage, well-loved by mechanics and motorists.” He commended distributor and partner growth since its 2018 relaunch that now spans 27 countries across Europe, the Middle East and Asia.

Bewsey also highlighted the anniversary as an opportunity to honor Duckhams’ decades of industry-advancing lubrication innovations alongside its ties to legendary racing partnerships.

Previous roles saw Bewsey manage brands for suppliers including Comma Oil and oversee sales and marketing at parts giant Unipart. He currently heads the U.K. Lubricants Association (UKLA) and formerly chaired verification body VLS.  

Alexader Duckham founded his eponymous oil concern in 1899. It led development of novel low-carbon and high-performance oils before unveiling Europe’s first multi-grade lubricant in 1951.  

Modern Duckhams aims its passenger vehicle and heavy-duty commercial lubricants at older vehicles along with classics. Sponsorships link it to motorcycle, rally and circuit racing championships.

Bewsey is one of several recent leadership hires bracing Duckhams for expansion. Rajat Moitra became global chief marketing officer last year as Chris Clarkson assumed technical and procurement duties.

Industry watchers consider the c-suite bolstering overdue to solidify Duckhams’ positioning for widening global energy transition impacts. Its heritage profile suits leveraging nostalgia trends around enthusiast sectors.  

However, Bewsey must also oversee navigating growing e-mobility shifts as the brand lacks electric or hybrid oils. Observers believe he was chosen partly to guide product portfolio evolution while upholding Duckhams’ legacy identity and awareness.  

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