Volkswagen AG is strengthening its Group Board of Management to deal with the next phase of the transformation. As part of this, the structure of the management body and its functions will be reorganised to make the company even more effective in tackling the challenges of the years ahead. The Group’s Supervisory Board adopted the corresponding resolutions at its meeting in Wolfsburg on Thursday. The Chairman of the Board of Management, Herbert Diess, will take over responsibility for the automotive software division CARIAD within the Group Board of Management from Markus Duesmann at the beginning of 2022. The CEO of the Volkswagen Passenger Cars Brand, Ralf Brandstätter, will join the Group Board of Management at the same time and will be responsible for the activities of the core brand. Herbert Diess will continue as the Board of Management member with responsibility for the Volume Brand Group. On 1 February 2022, Manfred Döss will take over “Integrity and Legal Affairs” from Hiltrud Werner. Hauke Stars will take up the position of Group Board of Management member responsible for “IT” on the same day. In addition to being the member of the Board of Management of Audi for Sales, Hildegard Wortmann will assume the same role on the Group Board of Management as from 1 February 2022 as well.
“With the resolutions adopted today, we are putting the Group Board of Management on an even broader footing. At the same time, all areas of central strategic importance are being strengthened with the key focus being on having the right people for the job. This gives the Group Board of Management even more clout to successfully tackle the strategic tasks of the years ahead,” said the Chairman of the Supervisory Board, Hans Dieter Pötsch.
The Deputy Chairman of the Supervisory Board, Jörg Hofmann, said: “The Volkswagen Group and its workforce are now facing the most important years of the transformation. Our starting position is rock solid. We must now continue to realise this historical change with a view to the future issues in a fair manner, thereby setting an example for the entire industry. This requires the highest level of focus and speed – and the future Group Board of Management will take this into account.”
One of the changes involves reassigning the “China” division to Ralf Brandstätter, who will take this over on 1 August 2022. Brandstätter will be succeeded by Thomas Schäfer, who is currently Chairman of the Board of Management of Škoda Auto a.s. He is to familiarise himself with this role from 1 April onwards as COO of the Volkswagen Passenger Cars Brand and then move to the Group Board of Management on 1 July 2022.
With Manfred Döss, the Group Board of Management will have a highly accomplished lawyer with decades of experience. Since 2016, Döss has been head of the Group’s Legal Division and has also been the member of the Board of Management of Volkswagen’s main shareholder Porsche Automobil Holding SE in Stuttgart with responsibility for “Legal Affairs and Compliance”. His previous experience also includes eight years as chief legal counsel at RWE AG in Essen. Hans Dieter Pötsch expressly thanked Hiltrud Werner for her work over the past years: “Hiltrud Werner has played an important role in supporting the Group during a very challenging period. She not only brought the monitorship to a successful conclusion, but also pressed ahead with and implemented, among other things, compliance and integrity measures of key importance for the Group.”
The technology and financial markets expert Hauke Stars will take over the vacant position of Group Board of Management member for “IT”. Ms. Stars was a member of the Executive Board of Deutsche Börse AG from 2012 to 2020 and holds positions on various supervisory and advisory boards. “I am extremely pleased that we’ve been able to win Ms. Stars, a very experienced manager with a great deal of expertise not only in IT but also on the organisational and structural front. She will help us to push ahead with the digitalisation of the Group in terms of organisation and administration,” Pötsch said.
Hildegard Wortmann, the member of the Board of Management of Audi for Sales, will also be joining the Group Board of Management and will take over the new Group Board of Management function Sales in addition to her role in Ingolstadt. By creating this new area of responsibility at Group level, Volkswagen is responding to the need to fundamentally adapt its Group-wide sales organisation as part of the transformation in order to take account of, among other things, new digital sales formats and the importance of direct and continuous customer contact across all brands.
Moreover, the Supervisory Board has already provided Board of Management member Gunnar Kilian, who is responsible for the HR and Truck & Bus Divisions, with a new service agreement to keep him with the company beyond his current appointment, which ends in April 2023.