MUNCH -- Volkswagen AG CEO Martin Winterkorn thinks the company has found the right person to lead its work in a “crucial technology.”
VW announced Wednesday that it had picked former Continental AG CEO Karl-Thomas Neumann, 48, for the newly created role of group chief officer for electric traction.
“Electric traction is a crucial technology for the Volkswagen Group and offers enormous potential. Dr. Neumann is a top-class expert on our industry and in this field,” Winterkorn said in a statement. “He will be instrumental in supporting our company to systematically further develop this particular area of innovation.”
Neumann, who starts his new job December 1, will report to Winterkorn.
Neumann left Continental in August following a power struggle with controlling shareholder Schaeffler Group. He was replaced by the former head of Schaeffler's automotive unit, Elmar Degenhart .
Neumann 2nd stint at VW
Neumann joined Continental from VW in 2004 and was named CEO of the Hanover-based supplier in August 2008. Before he took the top job, Neumann was the supplier's chief technology officer where he played a key role in the opening of Continental's lithium-ion battery plant in Nuremberg, Germany.
From 1999 to 2004, Neumann worked for VW where he headed electronics research and electronics strategy, later assuming responsibility for electronics at the VW passenger car brand.
Neumann has a doctorate in electrical engineering, which he studied at the universities of Dortmund and Duisburg.