Gernot Doellner to Replace Markus Duesmann

Audi has announced the appointment of Gernot Doellner, Volkswagen Group’s strategy chief, as the new CEO, taking over from Markus Duesmann starting September 1. The decision comes amid uncertainties surrounding Duesmann’s future, as the luxury brand has faced setbacks and sluggish innovation, causing it to lag behind competitors such as BMW and Mercedes-Benz.

Speaking of BMW, Duesmann also faced an interesting exit from the Munich-based automaker. 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.

Markus Duesmann’s plans to assume the CEO position at Audi AG have been thwarted, as BMW has chosen not to release its former board member from his contractual obligations. Despite Duesmann’s hopes, the decision by BMW prevents him from taking on the coveted role of Audi CEO. Duesmann finally succeeded Bram Schot in the Spring of 2020, who took over the post at the beginning of 2019.

According to Reuters, citing an anonymous source within Volkswagen, top-level managers at Audi expressed dissatisfaction with the business performance of the premium carmaker. This discontent ultimately led to the decision to replace Markus Duesmann as the CEO of Audi.

Doellner Brings Extensive Experience to Audi

Audi has chosen Gernot Doellner, a former executive at Porsche, to join their ranks, bringing his extensive 30-year career at Volkswagen (VW) into play. Having worked alongside Oliver Blume, the CEO of Porsche, Doellner’s appointment demonstrates Audi’s intent to leverage his wealth of experience.

With a background in mechanical engineering, Doellner embarked on his journey with VW Group in 1993 as a doctoral student. He steadily climbed the corporate ladder and eventually assumed the position of Head of Product Development at Porsche. Notably, Doellner oversaw the successful Porsche Panamera series from 2011 to 2018, showcasing his adeptness in product management.