Audi’s newly appointed chairman and R&D chief

Audi’s newly appointed chairman and R&D chief image

VW’s high-market Audi brand has a new chairman and a new business development boss as the emissions scandal is forcing the German automaker to make some changes at the top.

Amid the Dieselgate scandal, some of Volkswagen’s top bosses are being forced to step down. Audi also admitted last month that its 3.0 liter V6 diesel engine was fitted with emissions-control software and VW former CEO, Martin Winterkorn, finally resigned from his position as supervisory board chairman of Audi. Now, the board has just appointed VW’s new chief executive Matthias Mueller as chairman and also picked Stefan Knirsch, head of engine development to succeed Ulrich Hackenberg, top engineer at Audi and the VW group. Hackenberg was suspended two months ago, together with two other executives closely associated with the development of the VW engine at the centre of the scandal, codenamed EA 189. “The investigation is making progress,” Audi deputy chairman Berthold Huber said. “That is a necessary and good sign.”

Matthias Muller has been a member of the Board of Management of Volkswagen AG since March 1, 2015 and its Chairman since September 25, 2015. His Audi career has started in 1978, progressing to become the Head of Product Management for the Audi, Lamborghini and SEAT brands. From 2007 onwards, Muller was Head of Product Management for the Volkswagen Group and the VW brand as well as Executive Vice President of the Volkswagen Group. From 2010 until September 2015, he was Chairman of the Board of Management of Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG.

Stefan Knirsch, the new head of engine development came to Audi’s Engine Development department in 1990. In 1996, he moved to Porsche AG as a project manager, where he worked as head of base engine development from 2001 onwards. In 2010, he became head of the corporate quality department at Porsche. After that, Knirsch moved as CEO of the Board of Management of Pierburg GmbH to the automotive division of Rheinmetall, for him to return to Audi in May 2013 and took over the position of Head of Powertrain.