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More management movement at Audi

Resigned: Audi's top engineer Ulrich Hackenberg has quit after 30 years with the company, as VW Group struggles to recover from the emissions crisis.

Matthias Mueller becomes Audi CEO, Ulrich Hackenberg walks

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Audi logo4 Dec 2015

By DANIEL GARDNER

THE upper management shake-up continues at the embattled Volkswagen Group, with the resignation of Audi's suspended technical development board member, while Matthias Mueller steps up as the new chairman of the Audi supervisory board of management.

Mr Mueller recently took on the same title with sister brand Volkswagen after Martin Winterkorn stepped aside from the twin roles recently to allow a “fresh start” for the company, while the company's current head of powertrain Stefan Knirsch takes over from Dr Hackenberg.

In an announcement, the German automotive giant did not give a reason for Dr Hackenberg's departure, stating only that it had come to a “mutual agreement,” although the unfolding diesel emissions crisis and his suspension is likely to be the main contributing factor.

Amid the developing diesel engine scandal, in which software was deliberately developed to cheat emissions tests, Matthias Mueller praised Hackenberg’s significant impact on the Technical Development divisions of the entire Volkswagen Group.

“Above all, the modular toolkit system is inseparably connected with the name of Ulrich Hackenberg. He had that idea already in the early nineties at Audi.

Today, the entire Group profits from it,” he said.

Dr Hackenberg's career started with Audi in 1985 as head of concept development, before moving through various roles and arriving on the Volkswagen board of management in 2007.

In his time with the company, Dr Hackenberg was involved with a wide range of new concept and production vehicle projects including the Audi 80, A2, A3, A4, A6, A8, TT and VW XL1 economy record-breaking car, as well as new modular vehicle platform concepts.

Mr Knirsch steps up from his role as Audi head of powertrain, after returning to the brand in 2013, following a five-year stint at Pierburg GmBH.

Two further positions have been filled for members representing Audi shareholders, with Julia Kuhn Piech – the niece of former VW Group chairman Ferdinand Piech – and Josef Ahorner newly appointed.

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