Mar 23, 2021 - 05:23 pm

VW names successors for chief strategist Jost


Volkswagen has found Michael Jost’s successor: Andreas Walingen will become Chief Strategy Officer at the Volkswagen Passenger Cars brand on 1 May. At the group level, Porsche manager Gernot Döllner will take over to perform several important tasks in future.

In mid-March, Jost, the long-serving head of strategy, announced internally that he was stepping down. Jost is both CSO at VW Passenger Cars and Head of Group Strategy Product. He wanted to leave the company as soon as he had trained his successor, it was said. Now both the successor and the date for the change have been decided.

“Michael Jost is one of the most important pioneers of our e-offensive. ,” says VW brand boss Ralf Brandstätter. “With his shrewd analyses and bold visions, he has accelerated the transformation of our company and contributed greatly to the success of this change. On behalf of the Board of Management, I would like to sincerely thank him for his passionate commitment to our brand and wish him all the best for the future”

Training a successor should be fairly straight forward – at least at the level of the Volkswagen Passenger Cars brand where Andreas Walingen will take over. As Head of Group Product Strategy, Walingen was part of Jost’s team. “I am delighted that we have been able to gain Andreas Walingen, a proven expert in product strategy and corporate development with deep expertise in electronics architecture,” Brandstätter says of his new chief strategist. “Together, we will continue to quickly and systematically drive our transformation into a software-driven provider for sustainable mobility.”


Walingen, who has a degree in industrial engineering, has held various positions in purchasing at Porsche AG since 2001. In 2007, he moved to corporate strategy as a project manager and was responsible for leveraging synergies between Porsche and VW in the course of the takeover by Volkswagen. He subsequently held management positions in strategy and organisational development at Porsche, including product management and electronics architecture. Since 2019, he has been Head of Group Product Strategy in Wolfsburg. In this position, Volkswagen says he drove the “portfolio transformation to electromobility”. Walinger also focussed on the initiation of the Scalable System Platform (SSP). The SSP is to encompass electronics, software and the vehicle’s computing system, for example, and be modularly adaptable to vehicle classes and Group brands.

Jost’s successor as Head of Group Strategy Product will also be a manager with a Porsche background in Wolfsburg: Gernot Döllner, previously Head of Product and Concept at Porsche AG, will become Head of Group Strategy, Group Strategy Product and the General Secretariat of Volkswagen AG on 1 May.

Döllner takes over important functions in Wolfsburg

As Head of Group Strategy Product, Döllner will succeed Jost, but the tasks in the General Secretariat and the management of Group Strategy will be taken over by Döllner from Jürgen Rittersberger, who will take over the Finance and Legal Department at Audi from April. “With Gernot Döllner, we are gaining a proven strategist who has gained extensive experience at Porsche AG in the management of model series as well as in development strategy and innovation management,” said VW Group CEO Herbert Diess, making it clear that he is not planning a change in strategy: “With him, we will consistently continue along the path we have chosen and continue to drive forward the transformation.”

Diess also thanked Jost for “important accents for the strategic orientation of the Group and the brands”. “These include the decarbonisation and e-offensive of the company, the clear positioning of the brands or the idea of a uniform electronics architecture,” Diess said. “I would like to expressly thank him for this on behalf of the Executive Board. Thanks also go once again to Jürgen Rittersberger, whom I value as a strategically thinking and entrepreneurially acting companion.”

Rittersberger takes over in Ingolstadt from Arno Antlitz, who becomes the new Group CFO in Wolfsburg. The current CFO Frank Witter is retiring at his own request.

Reporting by Sebastian Schaal, Germany (Walingen), (Döllner)


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23.03.2021 17:41