The former head of purchasing and engine development at BMW, will become Audi’s new CEO next year.
Markus Duesmann will begin his tenure as Audi CEO on April 1, 2020, where has been tasked with the car maker’s “accelerated transformation into a provider of sustainable mobility and the determined decarbonisation of the company”.
Audi, like other brands within the Volkswagen family, is in the midst of adding plug-in hybrid variants to its existing range, as well as adding new pure electric models.
The company will soon launch the e-tron GT, a five-door fastback based on the electric Porsche Taycan. It is also working a premium electric car platform with Porsche, dubbed PPE, and has confirmed the Q4 e-tron crossover EV is also in the works.
Herbert Diess, head of the Volkswagen Group, said in a prepared statement: “As an excellent engineer, Markus Duesmann will do everything in his power to leverage the great potential of the Audi brand and will once again demonstrate the promise of Vorsprung durch Technik [Advancement through Technology].”
According to reports, Diess has been keen to install Duesmann as Audi’s boss since the middle of 2018, although issues related to Duesmann’s contract with BMW and a non-compete clause have delayed matters significantly.
Both men had worked together at BMW. From 2007 to 2010, and then from 2012 to 2016 Duesmann was in charge of BMW’s engine development. When Duesmann left BMW in July 2018 he was the luxury car maker’s head of purchasing.
He will replace current CEO Bram Schot who is leaving the automaker by “best mutual agreement”. The outgoing boss was praised by fellow board member Peter Mosch for leading a “cultural transformation towards fewer hierarchies, a clear value system and more openness”.
Schot stepped up from his role of head of marketing to become Audi’s interim CEO in June 2018 when Rupert Stadler, the luxury car maker’s then chief executive, was arrested by prosecutors because of fears he would tamper with witnesses and evidence related to official Dieselgate investigations.