Volkswagen Group's overhaul of senior management aims at improving the automaker's performance in three key areas: China, Audi and heavy trucks.
The reshuffle creates a management board position dedicated solely to China - VW's single largest market - and replaces three board members at Audi, the premium brand that drives the group's profitability.
Among the main winners in the shake-up were:
Jochem Heizmann, who gets the new board post overseeing VW Group's China operations, moving from his current role as head of heavy trucks. As VW's production chief from 2007 to 2010, Heizmann oversaw the introduction of a new flexible factory layout used for the company's new plants in Pune, India and in Chattanooga, Tennessee. His skills are needed in China where VW is investing 14 billion euros ($17.3 billion) in the next four years to expand production. Heizmann, 60, is a close aide of VW CEO Martin Winterkorn.
Luca de Meo, 44, who was named head of sales and marketing at Audi, winning promotion to a board-level post from his current job as VW group marketing boss. De Meo is a former Sergio Marchionne protege who was credited with the successful launch of the Fiat 500 in Europe in 2007. He quit as Fiat's chief marketing officer in 2009 to join VW. His task will be to bring fresh marketing ideas to Audi to help the premium brand achieve its goal of overtaking BMW as the top luxury carmaker by 2015.