Audi has increased its rivalry with BMW by recruiting a board member of the Munich company as its new CEO.
Since Rupert Stadler was forced to leave his role at Audi in disgrace, the crucial source of profits for the VW Group has been managed by Bram Schot as an interim measure.
The man who will soon become substantive in his role as Audi’s new CEO is Markus Duesmann. Although it was expected that Duesmann was going to replace Stadler without disruption to organisational continuation, this has not been the case.
At the time when Duesmann was recruited by Audi, in late 2018, he oversaw BMW’s supplier network and purchasing. BMW enacted a blocking clause which exists within the German automotive industry, relating to highly skilled staff. This prevented Duesmann from leaving on his own timeline.
New developments have seen BMW relenting its position and Duesmann is expected to join Audi a few months earlier than anticipated – although still many months later than he originally wanted to. Duesmann’s official contract with BMW expires at the end of September, which could finally see him move officially into his new role as Audi CEO.
Who is Markus Duesmann and why do Audi want him so badly? Although his final board position at BMW was in supply chain, he is a veritable engine design genius.
Duesmann started his career at Mercedes-Benz, where he worked as a design engineer for the V12 development project (1992-1995). He was also in charge of Mercedes-Benz’s F1 engine development (2005-2006), before joining BMW, where he was entrusted with influential positions: as the engineer responsible for driving dynamics (2010-2012) and powertrain development (2012-2016).
From Duesmann’s impressive resume it is obvious that he possesses immense technical skills and project management abilities. As Audi looks to transition from internal-combustion to electric power, he would appear to be a very appropriate appointment as CEO.