Wolfgang Duerheimer is exiting from Volkswagen Group after declining to reprise his old role as chief executive of Bentley, according to a report by German newspaper Handelsblatt. Duerheimer was the head of technical development at Audi until he was removed in June 2013, left without a fixed role at the group.
VW had tasked Duerheimer with boosting Audi technology to provide the luxury brand an advantage over main rivals BMW and Mercedes-Benz, but decided to replace him after he failed to live up to expectations. The group has named VW brand development chief Ulrich Hackenberg as Duerheimer’s replacement at Audi.
Der Spiegel magazine reported in June that Duerheimer was forced out as head of technical development at Audi after he pushed for cost savings and caused friction among the luxury carmaker’s development team.
Duerheimer launched his auto career at BMW in 1984, and joined Porsche 15 years later in 1999. He served as r&d chief at Porsche for 10 years until 2011. It was during his term that Porsche launched the Cayenne and the Panamera.