Jonathan Browning, president and CEO of Volkswagen of America, will leave the company for "personal reasons" and return to the U.K., Volkswagen announced this morning. Browning will be replaced by Michael Horn, currently head of Volkswagen Global After Sales.
Fifty-four year-old Jonathan Browning (pictured) was named president and CEO of Volkswagen of America in 2010. The British-born executive previously held marketing and other positions with General Motors, Ford, Vauxhall Motors, and Jaguar. Browning was charged, in part, with helping boost Volkswagen's annual sales to 800,000 units in the U.S. by 2018. Last year, Volkswagen of America sold 438,133 cars, its best yearly result in the U.S. since 1973. Through the end of November this year, VWoA reported 373,689 sales, down 5.2 percent year-over-year.
Michael Horn, who replaces Browning as president and CEO of Volkswagen of America on January 1, 2014, was appointed to his current role as head of after sales in 2009. Prior to that, Horn was Head of Sales for Europe from 2004, and has held various positions at Volkswagen since 1990.
In an email, a Volkswagen representative in the U.S. said only that he could, "confirm that Jon [Browning] is leaving the company for personal reasons."