Sir Tom spent 30 years building Kwik-Fit to become a world leader in the automotive maintenance and light repair industry. The company now employs 11,500 people operating from 2,400 centres.
Ford acquired Kwik-Fit in 1999. At the beginning of 2002, the motor company announced it would sell the firm in order to concentrate on building and selling cars and trucks. In February of that year Sir Tom went on leave of absence to 'avoid any perceived conflict of interest during the sale'. Martin Inglis, group vice president, business strategy, Ford Motor Company, said: 'As the sale of Kwik-Fit is now almost complete, Sir Tom's resignation will allow the new owners of Kwik-Fit to proceed with its plans for the company.'
Sir Tom said he wished the new owners - European venture capital company CVC, which is buying Kwik-Fit for £330 million - 'every success' with its plans for the development of the company.