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Volkswagen global marketing change

New man: Xavier Chardon now heads VW passenger car marketing worldwide after the unexpected resignation of Simon Thomas, who was in the job for less than a year.

Chardon now in charge of global VW passenger car marketing after Thomas’ sudden exit

Volkswagen logo12 Aug 2014

By TERRY MARTIN

VOLKSWAGEN Group has promoted Xavier Chardon to head of marketing for VW passenger cars worldwide following the unexpected resignation of Simon Thomas.

Mr Thomas was in the position for less than a year, having taken over the key international role – which also included responsibility for marketing across the entire VW Group – last September as a replacement for Juergen Stackmann, who was appointed chairman of Seat earlier in the year.

No reason has been given for Mr Thomas’ departure, while overseas media reports quote him as saying the decision to leave was his and that the past three years at the European auto giant had proven “very interesting”.

A Brit, Mr Thomas joined the Volkswagen Group in 2011 as managing director of its UK operations. He was previously vice-president of sales for Nissan Europe, based in France, having spent several years as head of sales and marketing at Nissan GB.

He started his automotive career as an apprentice technician at a Ford dealership in the late 1970s, and joined the Austin Rover Group in 1985 as technical advisor before switching to Nissan in 1991.

His successor at the head of VW marketing, Mr Chardon, will officially take the reins on September 1, reporting to VW Group board member responsible for sales and marketing – and head of VW passenger cars worldwide – Christian Klingler, who will fill the breach for now.

Mr Chardon is currently head of European sales for VW passenger cars, a job he has held since 2011 and which will now go to Wolf-Stefan Specht who has previously overseen sales operations in VW’s northern and central European regions and since March last year has been head of sales in India and the Far East.

Mr Chardon previously worked for Citroen, starting with the French brand’s Italian subsidiary in 1994 before moving to senior management posts in sales and marketing in France, Denmark and Germany. He rose to head of marketing and PR at Citroen in France in 2007, and two years later was appointed managing director for France.

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