BERLIN (Bloomberg) -- Volkswagen AG will probably hire Porsche AG manager Klaus-Gerhard Wolpert to succeed Matthias Mueller as the group's chief product strategist, according to two people familiar with the matter.
Wolpert, 53, who spearheaded development of the Cayenne SUV, Porsche's best-selling model, is expected to take up his new post Oct. 1, said the people, who declined to be identified before an official announcement. Mueller will switch to Porsche to succeed Michael Macht as CEO on the same day.
An appointment of Wolpert, who joined Porsche in 1984, would mark the latest round of executive swapping between the two carmakers as they prepare to merge. Volkswagen, which aims to surpass Toyota Motor Corp. in deliveries and profitability by 2018, is taking over Porsche Automobil Holding SE's carmaking operations, Porsche AG, as the companies build on a partnership that includes sharing vehicle platforms.
“Porsche's integration into the VW structure is proceeding rapidly,” said Georg Stuerzer, who is ranked first among analysts of German luxury-carmakers tracked by Bloomberg. “A broader reshuffle is urgently necessary and it seems likely that further changes will follow, especially on subordinate levels.”
Porsche CEO Macht is leaving his post to replace Jochem Heizmann as VW head of production, while Frank Tuch, a former Porsche executive, joined VW as group quality chief on Aug. 1.
Porsche spokesman Dirk Erat declined to discuss the reshuffling, while VW spokesman Stefan Ohletz didn't return calls seeking comment. The moves were reported earlier in the Financial Times Deutschland.