Volkswagen loses Chief Strategy Officer for EV push, but finds suitable replacement in-house

Credit: Volkswagen

Volkswagen will promote Andreas Walingen to the position of Chief Strategy Officer on May 1, 2021, after Michael Jost announced he would leave his position to focus on personal projects. Jost was a crucial part of Volkswagen’s electric vehicle push, but Walingen presents a suitable and ideal replacement for the German automaker moving forward.

Earlier this month, Jost announced that he would be leaving Volkswagen to develop smart boats with his family. His personal website included a post that detailed the decision, which mainly comes from a lack of family time.

“Since 1996, I am leading a weekend-marriage and -family. Now corona has brought me home, and we’ve realized that we can live together. I want to stay here. I thank you all, and I do apologize if it was ‘too much’ sometimes,” Jost said. Jost has been with VW AG since 2010, working for Skoda, a subsidiary of Volkswagen. In 2018, he assumed the position of Head of Group Strategy Product, where he was widely responsible for helping VW become the leader in EVs.

“What’s next? After smart cars, it’s now smart boats, a nautical passion that I want to devote myself to with my family,” he added.

Volkswagen CEO Ralf Brandstätter said many kind things about Jost, complimenting him for his years of service and his contributions to VW’s EV push. “Michael Jost is one of the most important pioneers of our e-offensive. With his shrewd analyses and bold visions, he has accelerated the transformation of our company and contributed greatly to the success of this change,” Brandstätter said. “On behalf of the Board of Management, I would like to sincerely thank him for his passionate commitment to our brand and wish him all the best for the future.”

Now, Andreas Walingen will take over the position with plenty of familiarity. Walingnen worked for Porsche in 2001, and in 2007, became Project Manager in Corporate Strategy. His role focused on developing synergies between Porsche and Volkswagen. From 2012 to 2018, Porsche gave Walingen management positions that focused on Organizational Development, Product Management, and End-to-End Electronics Architecture. In 2019, Volkswagen brought him on full-time as the head of Group Product Strategy, where he focused on the transformation of VW’s focus to electromobility.

Andreas Walingen (Credit: Volkswagen)

Volkswagen’s electric vehicle project is moving forward with the product launches of the ID. family, beginning with the ID.3 and ID.4. Both vehicles have already been released and are being met with mixed reviews. Volkswagen has admittedly struggled with software issues in the past, but the promotion of Walingen could solve some issues moving forward.

Volkswagen loses Chief Strategy Officer for EV push, but finds suitable replacement in-house
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