BMW doesn't seem happy about it.
A few months ago, Audi was in search of a new CEO as its former CEO was still being charged with fraud, indirect discrimination, and false advertising during the Dieselgate scandal. Audi picked the man for the job - Markus Duesmann, former BMW engine development and purchasing expert (and Mercedes engineer) - but BMW raised objections and would not release Duesmann from his non-compete clause.
Duesmann's contract with BMW has now ended and Audi has announced he will take over as CEO starting on April 1, 2020. The 50-year-old mechanical engineer takes over for interim CEO Bram Schot, who has held the position since June 2018.
"As an excellent engineer, Markus Duesmann will do everything in his power to leverage the great potential of the Audi brand and will once again demonstrate the promise of Vorsprung durch Technik," said Dr. Herbert Diess, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Audi AG.
Audi is about to reveal a slew of new models at the 2019 Los Angeles Auto Show, ushering in a new era of performance for the brand. We've already seen some of these models like the RS6 Avant and RS7, which will be making their North American debuts in LA, but there will also be some global reveals like the e-tron Sportback and RS Q8. Having Duesmann as the new CEO should aid Audi as it continues to improve its engine technology and move towards electrification.
"We expect Markus Duesmann and his management team to ensure stable capacity utilization at the plants and to promote more courage to take the lead through technology. We look forward to positive cooperation in the interests of the employees and the company," Chairman of the General Works Council of Audi AG and Deputy Chairman of the Supervisory Board, Peter Mosch commented.
Schot was "the right man at Audi at the right time. He started a cultural transformation towards fewer hierarchies, a clear value system, and more openness. In mid-2018, Schot assumed responsibility for the company in a very difficult situation," he added.