Porsche’s long time Research and Development head Wolfgang Dürheimer will be replaced by VW’s Wolfgang Hatz as Volkswagen Group executives continue to play musical chairs with executives from other VW-owned companies.
Dürheimer has served as Porsche’s R&D head for the past ten years, but he will soon function as chairman of the executive board for VW-owned Bentley Motors and become president and CEO of Bugatti S.A., also a VW-owned company. In addition he will take control as motorsports director for Volkswagen Group.
“A number of new models and model series spurring the international success and growth of the sports car manufacturer were created under his leadership," said Matthias Müller, chairman of the executive board for Porsche A.G. "Cayenne, Panamera, and the RS Spyder racing car all bear the unmistakable hallmark of Wolfgang Dürheimer, and are a testament to his outstanding expertise in the field of intelligent and efficient sports car development.”
Hatz worked at BMW A.G. and BMW Motorsport from 1983 to 1989 as an engineer and project leader in the company’s engine development branch before a brief stint at Porsche in 1989 to help develop the TAG Formula 1 engine. In 1993 he joined Knorr Bremse, a Munich-based vehicle systems developer that specializes in braking systems for commercial and rail vehicles. He became Opel’s technical director of motorsport in 1995 and later took over as head of engines and transmissions development at Fiat. His path through Volkswagen Group started in 2001 when he was hired as head of engines and transmissions development at Audi. Later, in 2007, he took the same job at VW. He worked for both Audi and VW until he left Audi in 2009.
“Wolfgang Hatz has many years of experience with Volkswagen, and all the credentials needed to strengthen the position of Weissach as a competence center for sports car development,” Müller said. He also said he is pleased “a renowned engineering expert from within the [Volkswagen] Group” is filling Dürheimer’s position.