A few months later than expected, former BMW board member Markus Duesmann can now get the executive chair at Audi. In charge at BMW for purchasing and supplier network, Duesmann left Munich in the summer of 2018 completely surprising and was apparently wooed by the Ingolstadt to replace Rupert Stadler. The driving force behind the change was apparently the former BMW Head of Development, and today’s VW boss, Herbert Diess.
But things have not worked out for Duesmann as he would have expected. BMW has decided to not release its former board member Markus Duesmann from his contractual obligations in order to become the next CEO of Audi AG.
German automakers have an industry-standard blocking clause, which would have prevented him from immediately working for a direct competitor.
Apparently, that clause was activated and enforced by BMW. Evidently, people in Wolfsburg assumed that they would be able to avoid Duesmann’s blocking period, but no deals were made.
Only a few months after Duesmann, Hildegard Wortmann, former head of Marketing at BMW also switched to Audi , which likely has caused a stir at the two companies.
The Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung reports exclusively that Markus Duesmann is now allowed to become to become the next Audi CEO a few months before the end of his exclusion clause. He is to follow Bram Schot in the Spring of 2020, who took over the post at the beginning of 2019.
An official confirmation for the agreement between BMW and Audi does not exist so far, however the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung believes there are many open questions to be answered. We should learn more as we approach 2020.