Matthias Mueller, the former CEO of Volkswagen Group, has been named chairman of Piech Automotive, an electric-car startup run by the son of former VW Group Chairman Ferdinand Piech.
Mueller is one of a number of high-profile figures involved in Piech Automotive, which was founded by Toni Piech and Rea Stark Rajcic, a Swiss designer and entrepreneur. They include the tech investor Peter Thiel, a co-founder of PayPal and an early investor in Facebook.
Piech Automotive said in a news release that it had completed its first round of investment with Thiel’s involvement, but did not provide further details. It announced that a second round to raise capital to launch a production car would be managed in the coming months under the leadership of UBS.
"I was immediately enthusiastic about the mission of the two founders, because it is more compelling and more visionary than all the new approaches I have encountered during my work in the automotive industry," Mueller said.
Mueller was ousted by VW Group’s board, controlled by the Piech-Porsche clan, in April 2018 and replaced by Herbert Diess.
Mueller, a former CEO of sports-car maker Porsche, had taken the top job at VW Group after the automaker's diesel cheating scandal. He was seen by insiders as a reluctant chief executive at VW Group who had an uneasy relationship with the government of Lower Saxony, which is VW’s second-largest shareholder.