Fitch senior director for product design Clive Grinyer has left the group after just 18 months to return to the client side, heading up the in-house design team at Tag McLaren Audio, a division of The Tag Group.
Grinyer took up his new post on Monday and will be joined later this month by Fitch associate director and graphic designer Charles Allan. He is the second senior Fitch product designer this year to join a client: Bill Sermon left Fitch for Nokia.
Tag McLaren Audio is a sister company to Tag McLaren, owner of the McLaren Formula One team. It was formed last year as part of The Tag Group’s drive to build on its reputation for technology and electronics by creating a global consumer brand.
Tag McLaren Audio chief executive officer Udo Zucker will not comment on the appointments prior to an official announcement. Meanwhile, Grinyer’s contract with Fitch prevents him from discussing the move.
But Grinyer is believed to have been brought in to look at ways of spinning off Formula One’s core values into electronic consumer product ranges.
Grinyer has already been working with the division for nearly a year in a collaboration with Fitch. This resulted in the F3 series of hi-fi systems, the first Tag McLaren Audio product range to launch since the division was set up.
In the longer term, it is believed Grinyer will work with his team to diversify Tag McLaren Audio’s product ranges into areas well beyond the hi-fi sector.
Fitch director Zuilmah Wallis says Grinyer’s departure provides a way of cementing the relationship between group and client.
However, sources close to the group say it is unhappy. Fitch appointed Grinyer last May from Korean electronics group Samsung, after a long search to find the right person to build its product design team (DW 9 May 1997).
Fitch plans to replace Grinyer and Allan. Allan was unavailable for comment.