It seems like BMW and Audi will its high-profile bosses in a few years time. German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, through a release by Reuters, has reported that BMW's former engine development and purchasing expert, Markus Duesmann, will become Audi's CEO in 2020.
According to Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Duesmann will start as Audi CEO on April 1, 2020, citing a person with knowledge on the appointment as the source.
Duesmann will join Dr. Herbert Diess, former BMW Head of Development and the current Volkswagen Group CEO, as a high-profile transfer from BMW to the Wolfsburg-based automaker. Diess joined VW in 2015.
Duesmann will be replacing Audi's current CEO Rupert Stadler, who was arrested in 2018 over diesel emissions scandal. To recall, VW's dieselgate originated in Audi's engine development department, which consequently led to Stadler's arrest. VW wanted to rid the company of those issues and turned its attention towards Munich to lead the Audi while Stadler remains in custody.
There was only one problem, though – Duesmann was under a non-compete clause as a board member of BMW. Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung reported that Duesmann's contract runs until September 30, 2019, but it isn't clear if VW and BMW have already discussed the matter.
Talks within BMW's board about Duesmann's departure are said to start in the near future, according to Reuter's report. However, an exclusive report from Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung said that Duesmann is now allowed to be Audi's next CEO a few months for his non-compete clause ends.
Whether or not the reports are true, we'll keep an eye on this development or until VW Group provides an official release on the matter.