Gerd Klauss Announces Retirement from Volkswagen; New Executive Board Named
AUBURN HILLS, Mich.–Volkswagen of America, Inc. announced today that its President and Chief Executive Officer, Gerd H. Klauss, has decided to retire on December 31, 2004, culminating a more than thirty-year career in the automotive industry, in both Europe and North America.
Klauss joined Volkswagen of America in 1992 as head of Audi of America, and became President and CEO in January 1999, with responsibilities for both Audi and Volkswagen in the U.S. and Canada. During his tenure, Audi and Volkswagen both achieved dramatically increased sales levels. Today, Volkswagen remains the top-selling European car brand sold in the U.S. “On behalf of all my colleagues,” said Dr. Bernd Pischetsrieder, Chairman of the Board of Management of Volkswagen AG, “and from me personally, I want to thank Gerd for his dedicated service to our Company.”
The Chief Executive Officer role at Volkswagen of America, Inc. will be filled by Frank Witter, who also remains Chief Financial Officer, and who will be focused on ensuring the optimization of business processes and cross-company synergies. Witter will be joined on a new five-person Executive Board by the leader of the Volkswagen Brand, Len Hunt; the leader of the Audi Brand, Axel Mees; the leader of Volkswagen Credit and Audi Financial Services, Kevin Kelly; and by Volker Steinwascher, whose key responsibility will be to facilitate processes between North America and Germany.