Wolf-Dieter Hellmaier will retire as Porsche Holding CEO effective December 31, 2011, putting an end to a long career with the biggest dealer group in Europe. In 1971, he joined the Salzburg, Austria-based company. In March, Volkswagen AG acquired the dealer group, which used to be owned by the Porsche and Piech families, as part of an agreement to provide a lifesaver to the financially troubled Porsche Automobile Holding SE. Alain Favey will be the successor of Hellmaier, effective January 1, 2012.
Since April 2009, Favey has been head of VW brand's passenger car sales. He became part of the VW Group after spending ten years at Citroen.
Hellmaier, who studied economics, has served in almost every one of the dealer group's departments in his 40 years with the company. Beginning 1991, he has been a member of Porsche Holding's management, responsible for Porsche Austria and Porsche Inter Auto, among other subsidiaries.
In 1997, he became part of the management board in Salzburg. Five years later, he became CEO. Porsche Holding is VW Group's and Porsche's top importer for central and eastern Europe. In 2010, the dealerships of the company sold an industry-leading 422,608 units in 18 European countries.
Porsche Holding holds the No. 1 spot on the Automotive News Europe’s list of the top 25 European dealer groups with a revenue of 12.84 billion euros in 2010.