VW Group Picks BMW Executive Markus Duesmann to Take Over As Audi CEO [News]

Duesmann is the second BMW executive to join Volkswagen Group, after current VW CEO Herbert Diess.

Volkswagen Group grabs BMW’s purchasing director to replace ousted Audi CEO Rupert Stadler.

Following Rupert Stadler’s arrest in June, Audi has been operating under interim CEO and marketing boss Abraham Schot. In a June 19 statement, Volkswagen Group clarified that, due to his situation, Stadler Volkswagen Group to “release him from his duties as member of the Board of Management.” Now, the company seems poised to name Audi’s new CEO – former BMW purchasing director Markus Duesmann.

Duesmann has signed an agreement to join Volkswagen “as soon as he is able to do so”, according to a recent announcement from the company’s board. Automotive News and its German-language sibling Automobilwoche reports that there are a couple obstacles in Duesmann’s way to taking charge of Audi.

Contract issues could delay the process

The first is his contract with BMW. He signed a contract to work for Audi’s Munich-based rival until September 2019, and he’s also bound by a competition clause that prevents him from immediately working for a rival. BMW may block him from leaving to a new post for up to two years after his contract expires, unless he can work out an arrangement.

The other is Stadler’s contract with Audi. While he’s no longer serving as a chairman on Volkswagen’s board, he has only been temporarily relieved of his duties as CEO “until the facts that led to his arrest are clarified”, according to an earlier Volkswagen release. At this point in time, Stadler remains in police custody, and has done so since his arrest in early June. Both Volkswagen and Audi have stated their belief that Stadler is presumed innocent until evidence proves otherwise.

Rupert Stadler
Audi CEO Rupert Stadler was arrested in June for alleged evidence tampering. [Photo: Audi]

Mercedes-Benz to BMW to Audi

Prior to his current position, 49-year-old executive Markus Duesmann worked for both of Audi’s chief rivals, Mercedes-Benz and BMW. He stepped into his current position as purchasing director after Herbert Diess left the post in 2016. Diess later defected from BMW to become Volkswagen Group’s new CEO in April of this year.

In the wake of several high-profile scandals linked to Volkswagen’s diesel emissions scandal, the company is working to revamp its management structure. Audi is Volkswagen’s most profitable arm at the moment, so it seeks to fill the ranks with new executives who can take the fight to rivals BMW and Mercedes-Benz.

We’ll provide an update when more information is available. At this point, Volkswagen has not clarfied exactly when Duesmann will take over. Check back to TFLcar.com for more updates!