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Board member as well as engine development and purchasing expert at BMW, Markus Duesmann will be leaving the Munich-based brand for fellow German automaker, Audi where he is set to assume the CEO role, Reuters quoted German Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung as saying. Duesmann commenced his present role at BMW in October 2016.
A ‘person with knowledge of the appointment’ was cited by the German newspaper as saying that Duesmann will start his tenure as head of Audi on April 1 next year, the report said, adding that the BMW management board will discuss Duesmann’s departure in the near future.
Parent company of Audi, the Volkswagen Group is looking to gain clean-engine expertise in the aftermath of the long-running Dieselgate scandal which originated in Audi’s engine development department, said the Reuters report. Duesmann’s appointment comes after Audi CEO Rupert Stadler was forced to step down temporarily after his arrest as part of an ongoing investigation, while Abraham Schot served in the interim.
Duesmann will take up his new position at Audi as soon as he can do so, Volkswagen said. His appointment will be the next high-profile move from BMW to the Volkswagen Group following the appointment of Herbert Diess as Volkswagen Group CEO and chairman in 2015.
In the meantime, Duesmann’s BMW contract runs until September 30, and is likely to have a non-competition clause that BMW board members are required to sign, according to Reuters, while BMW said that Duesmann had informed its chairman that he will not be available for an extension of his contract for personal reasons, it added.