From an “apprentice” at Audi (he had closed the international training program in 1994, after graduating in mechanical engineering) to CEO of the Volkswagen Group. Oliver Blume, who has just turned 54, took office today at the helm of the German giant, taking over from Herbert Diess, the 64-year-old Austrian number one from April 2018 until yesterday, after the news of the rotation.
Blume, who was and remains at the head of Porsche, the safe of the group that will go public by the end of the year and whose partial placement could bring in up to 85 billion, wasted no time and imposed a “crackdown “. To begin with, the number of members of the Board of Directors, which had been raised to 12 to balance Diess’s powers and which drops to 9. The signal appears as a clear message to the staff who have grown up in the group, because while remaining in the company and continuing to fill the same roles, the excluded have spent in BMW. In addition to Diess, neither Murat Aksel, the purchasing manager, who worked for the house of Elica until two and a half years ago, nor Hildegard Wortmann, who directs the sales and had been hired by Audi in mid-2019.
In order not to overturn the balance and in agreement with the Supervisory Board, Blume has nevertheless provided for an enlarged body of which both managers continue to belong (for which the new CEO has spent words of praise) to which are added the “promoted ”Michael Steiner, who is in charge of development at Porsche and will also be in charge of the group, and Christian Vollmer, who will also lead the production of the Volkswagen brand to that of the entire multinational. If in theory the number of members of the Board of Directors has been scissored, the new extended management team is basically made up of 13 people, one more than in the Diess era, but always with only two women in the “control room”.
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Blume remains with Cariad, the software development company that caused problems for Diess and even some friction with his successor. The CEO will also deal with strategy and quality, and the top design leaders will also report to him. The other divisions representing the board confirmed: China (Ralf Brandstätter), volume brands (Thomas Schäfer), premium, sports and luxury brands (Markus Duesmann, another manager who joined BMW during the Diess management), finance (Arno Antlitz), personnel and industrial vehicles and buses (Gunnar Kilian), legal (Manfred Döss), IT (Hauke Stars) and technology (Thomas Schmall).