Natalie Massanet and Marigay McKee join board at Aston Martin

Natalie Massenet

Aston Martin Lagonda has appointed two female directors in an effort to strengthen its position as a luxury brand and to comply with the requirement to have more women on company boards.

The upmarket carmaker announced that Dame Natalie Massanet, who founded the luxury fashion website Net-a-Porter in 1999 and Marigay McKee, who spent 14 years at Harrods, becoming its chief merchant officer, would become directors of the company along with Amedeo Felisa, the former Ferrari boss.

US-born Massanet was awarded an honorary damehood in 2016 for services to the fashion and retail industries. McKee, who began her career at Estée Lauder in Europe, is a co-founder and managing partner of Fernbrook Capital Management, a female-led capital venture firm.

Aston Martin has gone bust seven times in its century-long history. After its £4.2 billion listing in 2018, the company lost 90 per cent of its value as sales plunged and debts soared.

It was saved from an eighth bankruptcy when Lawrence Stroll moved in, backed by a group of wealthy individuals who engineered a £500 million rescue deal. Aston, best known as James Bond’s preferred mode of transport, had hit financial trouble after investing heavily in a new model.

Stroll, a Canadian Formula 1 fan and the executive chairman, has said he wants to make Aston “one of the greatest luxury car brands in the world”, building cars to order to maintain their exclusivity.

Stroll said: “Having refreshed the board earlier in the year, we were focused on diversity as a priority. This is a very important time as we execute our plans to transform Aston Martin into one of the pre-eminent luxury car brands in the world.”

Aston Martin has pinned its hopes on the marque’s long-awaited DBX 4×4. However, the business, whose main production facility is at Gaydon in Warwickshire, remains lossmaking and heavily in debt.