BMW fills its newly created position of vice president digital strategy with former Google executive, Jens Monsees. The high-ranking executive started his career at BMW before moving to Google as automotive director for digital strategy and he has been handpicked by BMW CEO, Harald Krueger, to head a newly created business unit charged with executing new digital processes and work practices at BMW.

Since he took office last year, Krueger has been focusing on the next BMW chapter – one that revolves around the digital world. Growing the digital end of BMW’s business will become a priority for the new leadership, a point emphasized in Frankfurt last year by Ian Robertson, Head of BMW Sales and Marketing.

“The big catalyst of change is now the digital environment,” said Robertson. “From customer behavior into the retail environment, we will step it up.”

Monsees will report directly to BMW’s head of strategy, Markus Schramm, in a role Autocar has been told will involve a sweeping reorganization of business, design, engineering production, sales and back office operations in a move aimed at improving BMW’s competitiveness against rivals who have already begun touting advances in digital processes.

Monsees is said to have been given a lot of freedom in his new role. “Up until now BMW operations have been heavily driven by engineering. It is part-and-parcel of the working culture. However, there has been a clear shift towards the IT side of the business, and this is set to be accelerated with the appointment of Monsees.”

One focus area for BMW will be Internet sales organizations, while on the manufacturing side, 3D printing will be further explored.