VW Hires Former BMW Exec to Head Audi Brand

Bill Hampton

Markus Duesmann, a mechanical engineer and former purchasing chief at BMW AG, will take over as CEO of Volkswagen Group’s Audi unit on April 1.

Duesmann (pictured) will succeed Bram Schot, who VW says is leaving on amicable terms.

Schot was named interim CEO at Audi in mid-2018 after Rupert Stadler was suspended for his role in VW’s diesel emission cheating scandal. Schot became fulltime CEO last December.

Duesmann is the third senior BMW executive to move to VW Group in the past four years. In mid-2015 the company installed Herbert Diess, previously head of product development at BMW, to lead its VW brand. Last year Diess was promoted to CEO of the entire company.

In January, Audi lured Hildegard Wortmann, then BMW’s brand manager, to become its sales and marketing chief in July. In doing so, she filled the post occupied by Schot before he was named Audi’s interim CEO.

Duesmann headed powertrain operations for Mercedes-Benz’s Formula One team before joining BMW in 2007. At BMW, he followed Diess as head of purchasing three years ago.