Volkswagen: PowerCo appoints new CTO from its own ranks

HW Vassen will become the new Chief Technology Officer and Member of the Board of Management of Volkswagen battery subsidiary PowerCo on 1 August 2024. He succeeds Soonho Ahn, who will leave his post on his own initiative at the end of July.

Image: PowerCo

Soonho Ahn’s appointment was seen as an important symbol of PowerCo’s ambitions. The South Korean was poached directly from Apple, where he worked as the Global Head of Battery Development. Recruiting a leading battery developer from Silicon Valley to develop battery cells for cars in Salzgitter was seen as a great success—especially as the chemical engineer, born in 1960, was also a perfect fit with his experience from performance roles at LG Chem and Samsung SDI.

“Soonho Ahn deserves our sincere thanks for all he has done at PowerCo. He built up the technology department and laid the foundation for future market success with the unified cell. He has clearly helped us on our way to become a sustainable, competitive battery company” says Frank Blome, CEO of PowerCo SE. “With HW Vassen we have been able to win the ideal successor. He has already played a key role in the development of the unified cell and has extensive international experience in battery development. Under his leadership, we will continue to expand our technological power and innovative strength.”

According to the PowerCo press release, as Head of Series Development, Vassen has “already played a decisive role in the development of PowerCo’s unified cell,” which will go into series production in 2025. As Chief Technology Officer, he will be responsible for all technology and product development, as well as testing and analytics, at PowerCo SE.

Before joining PowerCo in 2023, Vassen worked in China for six years – also in battery development. Among other things, he was responsible for the development of battery cells and battery systems for Volkswagen Group China. The electrical engineering graduate has been with the VW Group since 1999.

In addition to CEO Frank Blome and the future CTO Vassen, the PowerCo Board of Management consists of Sebastian Wolf as COO, Kai Alexander Müller as CFO, Chief Purchasing Officer Jörg Teichmann and Sebastian Krapoth as Chief Human Resources Officer.


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