It is with great sadness that we have in the last few days heard of the death of Sir Nick Scheele.
Sir Nick the then Chief Operating Officer and President of Automotive Operations for Ford Motor Company, was installed as the University’s Chancellor in March 2002. He served as Chancellor until his retirement in 2008 when he was succeeded by Sir Richard Lambert.
Like the University's first Chancellor-Designate, Lord Rootes, Sir Nick's career was spent in the motor industry. His career at Ford began in 1966, working in purchasing, supply and procurement in Britain. In 1978 he moved to the US, and in 1988 became President of Ford, Mexico, where he directed manufacturing and marketing operations. In 1992, he returned to Britain as Vice-Chairman of Jaguar Cars Ltd, quickly rising to become Chairman and Chief Executive. He remained at Jaguar for seven years, during which time sales doubled and Jaguar regained its place as one of the world's top marques.
In March 1999, Sir Nick was appointed Senior Vice-President for Marketing, Sales and Service in Ford's European Operations and in July 1999 he became President of Ford Europe. He is credited with having directed the increasingly successful transformation of Ford’s European business. He moved back to the United States in 2001 to serve as Ford’s Vice-President, North America and last October was appointed Chief Operating Officer and President of Automotive Operations. He received his knighthood in 2001, being awarded the Order of St. Michael and St. George for services to British exports.
Sir Nick was actively involved in many charity, business and community support projects. He was particularly interested in the education of young people and has been involved in a number of key initiatives to raise the profile of training and education. He was voted a lifetime member of the NSPCC after successfully chairing an appeal to raise money for Boole House, a childcare centre in Coventry. Latterly he served as Non-Executive Chairman of the Board of Key Safety Systems who are worldwide manufacturers of airbags, seatbelts and steering wheels.
Nick not only served the University as Chancellor but was also a generous supporter of the University's academic activities.
He committed a significant amount of funding to the expansion of the Warwick Business School, where he was formerly Chair of the Advisory Board and pledged a substantial legacy to the University.
We are truly grateful for his generosity and mark his death with great sadness.
Professor David VandeLinde, who also served as Vice-Chancellor of the University of Warwick during Sir Nick's Chancellorship, has also expressed his sorrow on hearing this news saying:
Margie and I were shocked and greatly saddened to hear of Sir Nick's death. Nick was a wonderful spokesperson for Warwick. His cheerful personality and steady support of the University were noticed and appreciated by all. For me he was a special friend and counsellor. Our thoughts are with Ros and his family.
I know that a great many of us will also be thinking of Sir Nick’s family and will share of all of the sentiments expressed in that quote. Sir Nick will be greatly missed.
Professor Nigel Thrift,
Vice-Chancellor and President