Philipp Reth, 45
Head of Volkswagen Group Mobility, Volkswagen Group
TITLE: Head of Volkswagen Group Mobility
COMPANY: Volkswagen Group
BASED: Wolfsburg, Germany
In 1998, Philipp Reth was part of a team that created a fully automated bike-sharing service, a novel idea at the time. The startup, Call a Bike, was then absorbed into Deutsche Bahn, where Reth worked as head of bike- and car-sharing services from 2001-14. He then moved to PSA Group as head of the automaker's mobility services efforts in Paris and Berlin before going to the public transport company Arriva as head of Europewide mobility strategy, a post he held until 2017. Reth started at VW Group in 2017 as director of various mobility services initiatives. This summer he was named to lead all of the group’s mobility services.
REASON FOR WINNING
Philipp Reth is driving VW Group's transformation to a mobility provider from a traditional automaker. As CEO of WeShare, the group's car-sharing company, he launched a fleet of 1,500 free-floating cars in Berlin in July 2019 and 800 more in February 2021 in Hamburg. All of the vehicles are full-electric models. In two years, more than 36 million fully electric kilometers have been driven in the two German cities with VW e-Golfs and ID3s, saving 3,300 tons of CO2 along the way. While WeShare is designed to provide short-term rentals mainly for private customers, the WeShareBusiness division offers 2,300 full-electric cars that can be leased for business purposes.
Also under Reth's umbrella are all VW Group New Mobility initiatives, which include We Connect and Car-Net, to link drivers to their cars, wherever they are, as well as over-the-air updates.
Nevertheless, his main task is to provide specifications for the in-house designed E3 2.0 software architecture. This standard software stack will form the technical foundation for data-based business models, new mobility services and autonomous driving (Level 4) for VW Group and its brands. The new software architecture will enable a complete ecosystem, which will offer customers a range of software-based services throughout the full product life cycle. By 2030, the group will put up to 40 million vehicles based on the new software stack on the streets globally.