According to the reports, Markus Duesmann will be replaced as the CEO of Audi by Gernot Döllner. The decision was reportedly made by VW Group and Audi’s supervisory boards in a Thursday meeting. Duesmann will step down on September 1, and Döllner, who is said to be close to Oliver Blume, will succeed him.


Audi has not explicitly stated the reason for Duesmann’s short-term dismissal. However, it is possible the decision was influenced by the statement of Manfred Döss, the Chairman of Audi’s Supervisory Board, who mentioned that Döllner is the right person further to refine Audi’s product strategy and market positioning.


During his tenure at Audi, Duesmann was tasked with resolving the diesel scandal and strengthening the company’s technical development. He aimed to accelerate the shift to electric mobility and initiated plans to launch more than 20 new models and model revisions by 2025, focusing on electric vehicles. However, there may have been concerns about the clarity and focus of the transformation from combustion engines to electric mobility within the company.


Döllner, the incoming CEO, has previously been involved in overall strategy and the general secretariat of the VW Group. He also held a position in concept development at Porsche, where he was responsible for the Panamera model series. Considered a close associate of Oliver Blume, the CEO of Porsche and the VW Group, Döllner’s appointment indicates a potential alignment between Audi and Porsche within the group.


The leadership change comes at a time when Audi has faced challenges in meeting targets in the Chinese and US markets, and delays in the development of the PPE platform with Porsche have been attributed to the group’s software division, Cariad.

The changes the new leadership will bring to Audi remain to be seen. Gernot Döllner will assume the role of Audi CEO in September and has expressed his excitement and honour to shape the company’s future with the Audi team.

The impact of the leadership change at Audi can have short-term and long-term implications for the company. Here are some potential impacts:

  •  Strategic direction: With the appointment of Gernot Döllner as the new CEO, there could be a shift in the strategic direction of Audi. Döllner’s background in overall strategy and his close association with Porsche and VW Group CEO Oliver Blume may indicate a more substantial alignment between Audi and Porsche within the group. This could lead to a greater emphasis on performance-oriented vehicles and technological advancements.
  • Product strategy: The new leadership may change Audi’s product strategy. Döllner’s appointment was mentioned to sharpen the product strategy and positioning in essential markets. This could involve reevaluating Audi’s electric vehicle plans, developing new models, and focusing on meeting market demands and customer preferences.
  • Market performance: Audi has faced challenges in key markets such as China and the USA, where it has struggled to meet its targets. The new leadership will be expected to address these issues and drive improved market performance. Döllner’s experience and potential collaboration with Porsche could bring fresh perspectives and strategies to address market-specific challenges.
  • Electrification efforts: Under Markus Duesmann’s tenure, Audi had focused on accelerating the transition to electric mobility. How the new leadership will prioritize and further advance Audi’s electrification efforts remains to be seen. The statements made by Duesmann about the importance of combustion engines and the company’s plans for a specific combustion engine platform indicate a balanced approach to the transition. The new leadership must determine the best path forward in Audi’s electrification journey.
  • Organizational culture and cohesion: Leadership changes can also impact organizational culture and employee morale. The new CEO will be able to shape the company’s culture and foster a collaborative and innovative work environment. Ensuring a smooth transition and maintaining cohesion within the organization will be crucial for Audi’s success.


With the appointment of Gernot Döllner as the new CEO, the leadership change at Audi has the potential to bring about significant impacts for the company. The new leadership could influence the strategic direction, product strategy, market performance, electrification efforts, and organizational culture.

Döllner’s close association with Porsche and his background in overall strategy may lead to a more substantial alignment between Audi and Porsche within the VW Group. The exact outcomes of these changes will unfold over time as the new leadership team takes charge and implements its vision for Audi’s future.,


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