Audi CEO Döllner also takes over Technical Development division

Audi has confirmed the almost-expected reorganisation of the Board of Management: The Chairman of the Board of Management, Gernot Döllner, is also taking over Technical Development at the German carmaker with immediate effect. The previous Board Member for Development, Oliver Hoffmann, has been transferred.

Image: Audi

Audi has confirmed what had been leaked in advance: Audi’s previous Board Member for Technical Development, Oliver Hoffmann, will now be responsible for the brand’s Formula 1 commitment, while Döllner will take over his duties on the Board of Management.

VW manager Gernot Döllner has been CEO of Audi since 1 September 2023. After a standstill period, Döllner began to implement his strategy at Audi. It resulted in several changes to model planning, the organisation and management personnel – but there have been no changes to the Board of Management so far. That has now changed with the appointment of Hoffmann.

A few weeks ago, it was reported that Hoffmann was still respected in Technical Development but not in other parts of management. Among other things, he was blamed for the “years-long model gap.” Incidentally, it is not uncommon for the CEO to also be CDO at Audi: Döllner’s predecessor Markus Duesmann – who also has a long Formula 1 past at BMW – also took over the management of Technical Development for several months, before making Oliver Hoffmann CDO in 2021.

Döllner “will continue the ongoing transformation”

Incidentally, such backgrounds are not mentioned in the Audi press release. The change in personnel is seen as part of the preparations for the brand’s entry into Formula 1. Parallel to Hoffmann’s transfer and dismissal from the Board of Management, the Supervisory Boards of Volkswagen AG and Audi AG have decided to take over the Sauber Group in its entirety. The Swiss Formula 1 team will build a racing car that will be powered by Audi’s Formula 1 engine from 2026.

As the person with overall responsibility and general representative for the project, Hoffmann will be responsible for all three pillars of the Formula 1 commitment: the investment in the traditional Swiss racing team Sauber, the development of the power unit by Audi Formula Racing GmbH at the Neuburg site and the strategic management and activation of the commitment by Audi AG. In Ingolstadt, Döllner will take over Hoffmann’s tasks and “continue the ongoing transformation of Technical Development. Besides shortening development times, the focus is mainly on more efficient structures and clear areas of responsibility in order to operationalise the prioritisation of products and technologies as prescribed by the Audi Agenda,” the press release continues. Döllner apparently did not trust Hoffmann to do this.

“I thank Oliver Hoffmann for his tireless dedication as Member of the Board of Management for Technical Development. In recent years, Oliver has contributed significantly to the sharpening of the Audi product DNA that we are now bringing to market step by step with the launch of the Audi Q6 e-tron,” says Döllner. “In particular, the high-volume models based on the PPE and PPC, which are important for us, bear his signature.”

Hoffmann himself and the Chairman of the Audi Supervisory Board, Manfred Döss, only commented on the Formula 1 project in their statements. However, Jörg Schlagbauer, Deputy Chairman of the Supervisory Board and Chairman of the General Works Council at Audi, is clear: “Audi must remain technologically flexible, able to take action, and future-proof. To this end, we need a clear course. ‘Vorsprung durch Technik’ must be our aspiration. This has now been made management’s top priority. I am therefore looking forward to cooperating even more intensively with Gernot Döllner. All Audi employees’ thanks go to Oliver Hoffmann for his work. We wish him and the four rings much success in the premier class of motorsport.”

1 Comment

about „Audi CEO Döllner also takes over Technical Development division“
Joaquim miranda
11.03.2024 um 13:15
I think that the timing us just right and the change must make the diference. Audi has to sppear as number 1 in the development and design of the big players as BMW /Mercedes

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