The Volkswagen Group announced today that Wolfgang Dürheimer will become the CEO of Bentley and Bugatti, replacing current CEO Dr. Wolfgang Schreiber. The move is interesting given that Dürheimer was previously CEO of Bentley and Bugatti from 2011 to 2012. He then spent a year as Audi's head of research and development, but was ousted from that post last year and subsequently spent a short stint involved with Volkswagen motorsport.
A company statement says that Schreiber, who has worked for the Volkswagen Group since 1994, will take on “a leading position” within the company. He was head of Bugatti development from 2003 to 2011, and has been CEO of both Bentley and Bugatti since September 2012.
Last year, European bureau chief Georg Kacher reported that Dürheimer had caused concern among other Volkswagen Group executives, leading to his dismissal as Audi R&D chief. “Dürheimer likes to be involved in the details, questioning every investment, implementing his own ideas, and influencing the design language. This has ruffled feathers among senior managers accustomed to ruling their departments as independent kingdoms,” Kacher wrote in our July 2013 issue.
According to Automotive News, Durheimer's departure last year came after, “criticism by senior managers at VW group who were concerned that the premium brand was losing momentum.” In July 2013, after being pushed out of Audi, Dürheimer took on responsibility for Volkswagen motorsport. He began his automotive career in 1986 with BMW, and joined Porsche in 1999.