Volkswagen announces new appointments to key positions on the Brand Board of Management
Volkswagen has made new appointments to key positions on the Brand Board of Management, laying crucial foundations for the company’s transformation toward the age of digital and autonomous mobility.
Thomas Ulbrich becomes board member in charge of the newly created New Mobility division, which unites the e-series and software expertise of Volkswagen Passenger Cars. Kai Grünitz, previously Head of Development at Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, succeeds Ulbrich as the board member responsible for Technical Development (TD). Other personnel changes relate to Finance.
Patrik Andreas Mayer, currently Chief Financial Officer at Volkswagen Group Russia, becomes the Chief Financial Officer at the Volkswagen Passenger Cars brand. He succeeds Alexander Seitz, who has been appointed Executive Chairman of Volkswagen Group South American Region. He is thus the successor to Pablo Di Si, who has been President and CEO of Volkswagen Group of America and CEO of Volkswagen North American Region since September 1, 2022. Ulbrich, Grünitz, Mayer and Seitz will take up their new posts effective October 1, 2022.
By restructuring the technological Board functions, Volkswagen is creating a strong foundation for systematically driving forward the company’s transformation toward a software-oriented mobility provider.
“With the newly created New Mobility division, we’re bundling the strategic action areas of electric mobility and software, thereby increasing our pace of innovation. The goal is to offer our customers top-quality hardware and software that’s very easy to use. I am delighted Thomas Ulbrich is taking on this task. As Chief Technology Officer and board member in charge of electric mobility, he has already set important trends for our brand.”
“He saw the ID.31 and ID.42 from sketch to street and made significant contributions to making electric mobility suitable for widespread use. He will now also play an influential role in shaping the far-reaching technological transformation toward digitized mobility at Volkswagen. I wish him a lot of success,” says Thomas Schäfer, CEO of the Volkswagen Passenger Cars brand and Head of the Brand Group Volume.
“I would also like to welcome Kai Grünitz, the new board member responsible for Technical Development, to the team. As Head of Development at Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles he made a significant contribution to the successful launch of the ID. Buzz3.”
The two e-series G4 (MEB models) and G3 are assigned to the New Mobility division. The G3 series comprises all models that will be based in the future on the new, highly scalable Group-wide SSP platform. The division also bundles the brand’s software expertise. The new board division will cooperate closely with CARIAD, the Group’s automotive software unit, as part of that. Thomas Ulbrich has also been elected to CARIAD’s Supervisory Board in order to strengthen cooperation further. CARIAD is responsible for developing the software and Volkswagen Passengers Cars for its integration.
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Other personnel changes relate to Finance. Patrik Andreas Mayer, currently Chief Financial Officer at Volkswagen Group Russia, will become the Chief Financial Officer at the Volkswagen Passenger Cars brand. He succeeds Alexander Seitz, who has been appointed ExecutiveChairman of Volkswagen Group South American Region.
Thomas Schäfer adds: “As Chief Financial Officer, Alexander Seitz has successfully led the Volkswagen brand through choppy waters in the past two-and-a-half years and has helped put the company on a strong footing. I would like to thank him deeply for that and wish him all the best in his new role as Executive Chairman Volkswagen Group South American Region. With his many years of experience in South America, he is precisely the right man for this important market.”
“I am also delighted we have been able to win Patrik Mayer, an accomplished manager with international experience, as the new Chief Financial Officer of the Volkswagen brand. His task will be to increase profitability sustainably and further enhance our financial robustness. I wish him every success in that and welcome him warmly to our board team.”
Thomas Ulbrich studied automotive engineering at Hamburg University of Applied Sciences. In 1992, the engineering graduate started his career in plant logistics at Wolfsburg, where he assumed a management role in 1995. In 1996, he became head of logistics at FAW-Volkswagen in Changchun, China. Two years later he assumed responsibility for assembly “segment II” at the Wolfsburg plant before becoming head of plant logistics at Emden in 1999. The next stage of his career took him to AUTO 5000 GmbH in Wolfsburg, where he was technical managing director and speaker of the management board from 2001 to 2008.
He became Board of Management member for Production at Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles in Hannover in 2008. Ulbrich moved to SAIC VOLKSWAGEN, China, as Technical Executive Vice President in 2010, taking charge of development as well as production and logistics at a total of five locations. From April 2014 until January 2018, Thomas Ulbrich was responsible for Production and Logistics as Member of the Board of Management of the Volkswagen brand.
From February 2018 until January 2021 he was Member of the Board of Management of the Volkswagen brand responsible for E-Mobility. He has been Member of the Board of Management with responsibility for the Technical Development division of Volkswagen Passenger Cars since February 2021.
Kai Grünitz has a degree in mechanical and industrial engineering. He has been with Volkswagen for nearly 26 years and has held various roles in development and management during his career. After serving as an executive assistant in development at Škoda, he came to Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles in 2012, where he was responsible for corporate planning in the General Secretariat. Grünitz assumed management of mechatronic chassis systems in 2014 and additional roles in commercial vehicle development followed, including chassis development in January 2017 and electrical-electronic development in August 2018.
In his function as CTO, he has been working on Autonomous Vehicle & T7 since the beginning of 2020 and, in November 2020, he became Technical Director of Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles with overall responsibility for development of the brand.
Patrik Andreas Mayer began his career with the Volkswagen Group in 1997 as an international trainee in Wolfsburg. Mayer became Head of the Investment Controlling division at Volkswagen Passenger Cars in 2001. Many management positions in the Group followed, including Head of Business Development, Financial Director at Volkswagen Navarra and Executive Vice President Finance and Information Technology at Volkswagen Group of America in Chattanooga.
In 2014, he assumed responsibility for Controlling at the components plant in Kassel, before being appointed Chief Financial Officer of the Board of Management of Volkswagen Group Russia in 2016. Mayer studied mechanical and industrial engineering at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Coventry University and École Nationale Supérieure d’Arts et Métiers in Paris. He also earned a Master of Business Administration at Henley Management College in the United Kingdom.
Alexander Seitz has many years of international experience in management positions in the automotive industry, in particular in South America. Seitz studied business administration with a focus on auditing and trusts as well as commercial law. After completing a master of business administration degree, Seitz began his career at what was then Daimler-Benz AG. He assumed various positions in the Accounting, Controlling and Procurement departments, from 1995 onwards at Mercedes-Benz do Brasil in Brazil. From 2000, he took on various purchasing functions at DaimlerChrysler in Detroit.
Alexander Seitz joined Volkswagen AG in 2005 and, based in Wolfsburg, headed Groupwide Procurement for power trains, among others. In 2008, the manager returned to Brazil and joined the executive management of Volkswagen do Brasil. In 2013, Alexander Seitz was appointed First Vice President & Commercial Executive Vice President of SAIC Volkswagen Automotive Co., Ltd., in Shanghai. As Co-General Manager of the joint venture, Seitz was responsible in his specialist function for Finance, IT, Procurement and Human Resources for the expatriates.
On September 1, 2017, Alexander Seitz joined the Board of Management of AUDI AG and assumed responsibility for Finance, IT and Integrity. In 2019, he was the Board Member responsible for Finance, China and Legal Affairs. On March 1, 2020, Alexander Seitz joined the Brand Board of Management of Volkswagen with responsibility for the Finance division.