Audi Sport Boss Stephan Winkelmann will be taking over from Wolfgang Derheimer as President of Bugatti from January 1.
Stephan Winkelmann has only been the CEO of Audi Sport since March 2016. In that time, he oversaw the performance division's rebranding from quattro GmbH to Audi Sport GmbH, as well as the launches of the RS3, RS5 and R8 Spyder. A few months ago, reports by VW officials suggested that Winkelmann will be leaving Audi Sport to replace Wolfgang Durheimer as president of Bugatti – and now it's official. Bugatti has announced that Winkelmann will become the company's new CEO as of January 1 2018.
Durheimer will be voluntarily retiring at the end of the year after holding his position at for five years. "I accept Wolfgang Durheimer's wish to retire. I sincerely thank him for the outstanding work he has done in various positions in the Volkswagen Group over 18 years," said Matthias Muller, Chairman of the Board of Management of the Volkswagen Group. Durheimer successfully completed the era of the Veyron and oversaw development of the Chiron, which "opened an exciting new chapter for the brand. With Stephan Winkelmann, a proven expert in sports cars and the luxury sector is coming to Bugatti", Muller continued.
"I am convinced that Stephan Winkelmann will use his many years of experience in these fields as well as his sense of dealing with an exclusive clientele and his deep understanding for brands to bring new momentum to Bugatti's further development and to lead this special brand into a sustainable future." Before Winkelmann was appointed as Audi Sport's CEO, he served as Lamborghini's President and CEO for 11 years so he has experience of overseeing the development of supercars and hypercars. Before joining the Volkswagen Group in 2005 he worked for Fiat in various positions where he became the CEO of Fiat Auto Austria, Switzerland and Germany.
Bugatti CEO Wolfgang Durheimer's career started in 1986 at BMW, where he held various managerial positions. In 1999, he joined Porsche and was appointed as the company's Member of the Executive Board for Research and Development in 2001. Ten years later Durheimer became President of Bugatti, Chief Executive of Bentley Motors, and Chief Representative of the Volkswagen Group heading the automaker's motorsports activities. In 2012, Durheimer was appointed Member of the Board of Management for Technical Development of Audi AG before returning to his former positions at Bugatti and Bentley.
Durheimer will continue his role advising Volkswagen Group motorsport, but will be standing down as Bentley's CEO. Replacing him as of February 1 2018 will be Adrian Hallmark, who worked as Jaguar Land Rover's Global Strategy Director. Hallmark has 18 years of board level automotive experience with automakers including Porsche, Volkswagen, Saab and Bentley. He worked as Bentley's Board Member for Sales, Marketing and PR and played a key role introducing the Continental GT back in 2003. "I am delighted to welcome Adrian Hallmark back to the Volkswagen Group, and back to Bentley Motors," said Volkswagen's CEO Matthias Muller.
"He brings a wealth of international automotive experience coupled with a deep understanding of the Bentley brand and I am confident he will lead this extraordinary British company to even greater success," Muller added.