VW announces changes on the management level

Volkswagen is filling another key position in the group with a manager from Porsche. Stefan Weckbach will become the Group’s chief strategist on 1 September 2023, succeeding Gernot Döllner, who will become Audi’s new CEO on the same date. There are also other changes in the top management of some Group brands.

It had been clear since the end of June that Döllner would replace Markus Duesmann at the top of the Audi board. At that time, however, no successor for Döllner was named. The long-time VW and Porsche manager (among other things, he was already head of the Panamera model series under Blume) had been head of product and group strategy at Volkswagen since 2021 – a position usually referred to as ‘VW chief strategist’. Döllner was also head of the general secretariat in Wolfsburg.

On 1 September, these positions will again be taken over by a long-standing Porsche developer and current series manager: Stefan Weckbach has been at Porsche since 2008. In 2016, Weckbach took over the management of the electric Taycan series (known as “Mission E” before the model premiere), in 2021 the Cayenne series and since 2022 has been head of the Mission X series. Weckbach was therefore not only responsible for the first electric model series of the Zuffenhausen company under Oliver Blume in his function as Porsche CEO, but was also entrusted by Blume with the development of an upcoming electric flagship. The electric hypercar Mission X (or its production version) will not achieve high unit numbers, but it will shape the brand as a flagship and presumably offer some drive innovations.

In his new role as Head of Group Strategy, Group Strategy Product and the General Secretariat of Volkswagen AG, he will report to Volkswagen Group CEO Oliver Blume. The Porsche and VW Group CEO is thus filling an important position with a confidant – and a developer with plenty of eMobility experience, who pushed through the development of an electric model at Porsche against the combustion faction in the company.

In addition to Weckbach, several other top positions have also been filled. “One focus of Volkswagen Group CEO Oliver Blume is on strengthening the brands by means of attractive vehicles, quality and design,” according to the company announcement.

The fact that Thomas Sedran will have to vacate his post as chief financial officer at the software subsidiary Cariad had already been apparent since May – when Cariad boss Dirk Hilgenberg was replaced by Bentley production board member Peter Bosch. Now it is certain that André Stoffels, currently First Vice President (Finance) FAW-VW Automotive in China, will take over Sedran’s position as CFO at Cariad – also with effect from 1 September. Sedran, who has been a VW manager for many years, will not leave the group, however, but will take on another, as yet unspecified, task.

A successor for Bosch at Bentley in Crewe has now also been found – and in Ingolstadt. Andreas Lehe, the current Head of Strategic Planning for the Production & Logistics Division at Audi, will be the new Bentley Production Director. It is not known who will take over his duties in Ingolstadt.

The head of Group Quality will be replaced after less than a year. Michael Neumayer was only promoted to this position in December 2022, but will retire in September. Then Simon Bracco, Head of Corporate Quality at Audi, will take over the task at the Group level in addition to his function at Audi.

And there will also be changes in the board of management at VW’s internal supplier division VW Group Components as well as at VW Commercial Vehicles: Astrid Fontaine, currently head of human resources at the Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles brand, will “ake up new responsibilities in Human Resources at Volkswagen Gr”, according to the statement. She will be succeeded in Hanover by the current board member for human resources at Volkswagen Group Components, Wolfgang Fueter. Fueter will be succeeded on 1 September by Anika Stappenbeck, who will move from Skoda. It is not known who will succeed Stappenbeck there.

With reporting by Sebastian Schaal, Germany.



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