Mario Theissen, the longtime boss of BMW Motorsport, will retire from the position on June 30, 2011, after holding the post for more than 12 years. Theissen, who managed BMW's Formula One racing team between 2000 and 2009, will be succeeded by Jens Marquardt, 43.
Marquardt will join the company on Jan. 1 and work alongside Theissen, who turns 59 in August, for six months to familiarize himself with his new task and to prevent any hiccups in BMW's 2011 racing program and preparations for its 2012 re-entry to the DTM touring-car project.
“We have planned and prepared this changeover very carefully,” Theissen said. “With the realignment of BMW Motorsport and the decision in favor of the DTM project, the path to a successful future on the race track has been mapped out. Now is also the best time to entrust the leadership of BMW Motorsport to new hands. I have no doubt that in Jens Marquardt we have found the right man for this exciting task and I look forward to our time working together. On July 1, 2011, he will be perfectly equipped to take over the reins.”
Marquardt said, “Heading up BMW Motorsport is a dream job for me and a tremendous show of confidence. The endurance events with the BMW M3, the broad-based customer sport program, the promotion of junior racing talent, and above all the DTM project are all fascinating challenges. I know that Mario Theissen will support me in every way and I can hardly wait to get down to work.”
Theissen first joined BMW on June 15, 1977, as a development engineer. He took on various responsibilities in engine development before going on to run the BMW Innovation Centers in Munich and Palo Alto, California. Theissen has been in charge of BMW Motorsport since April 1, 1999.
Marquardt earned a degree in aerospace technology and then turned to a career in engine development. From 1996 to 2000, he worked for Ilmor Engineering on the development of Formula One and CART World Series engines. He joined Toyota Motorsport in 2000, initially working in the F1 engine department, and then as the team's operations boss and manager. His most recent post was as general manager of business development, operations and production.