Thursday, 1 October 2015

Porsche man takes charge of VW's PR

Surprise, surprise, Porsche PR man Hans-Gerd Bode (54) has taken over as head of group communications, investor relations and external relations at Volkswagen AG with immediate effect. He succeeds Stephan Grühsem (53); he leaves the company "by amicable agreement".
The chief executive officer of Volkswagen AG, Matthias Müller, himself an ex-Porsche man, states: “Stephan Grühsem has played a decisive and strategically shrewd role in shaping communications in the Group over the last nine years. We would like to acknowledge this with gratitude and respect.”

“With Hans-Gerd Bode, another recognized expert is taking over at the helm of communications in our company. He has excellent knowledge of the Group and the automotive industry,” added Müller.

Hans-Gerd Bode was latterly head of public relations & press at Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG in Stuttgart. He studied German language and geography, and his previous functions included press officer at Mitsubishi and at Opel. He joined Mercedes-Benz AG in 1996.

Bode moved to Volkswagen AG in Wolfsburg in 1999 and assumed responsibility for the group’s brand and product communications. He was appointed head of product and technical communications at Porsche AG in 2008, becoming head of public relations & press in October 2010.

Grühsem joined the Volkswagen Group in 1999 and held various functions including head of group coordination motoring press. He took over as head of communications at Audi in 2002. He returned to Wolfsburg as head of group communications, investor relations and external relations in 2007. There is no mention of him leaving to pursue "other interests".

Good internal and external relations will be vital to the smooth-working of VW in the months ahead to help make the pain go away. Likewise, it will be interesting to see if, for financial reasons, Volkswagen AG, the Group changes its attitude to MAN and Scania.

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