Six months after creating a company dedicated to batteries for electric vehicles, the Volkswagen automotive group has appointed six experts to the executive board, including Frank Blome, CEO. A recruitment campaign also includes 200 positions to be filled externally in the technology field.
The Volkswagen Group is clear, it wants to develop its activities in the massive European battery market and establish itself globally as a manufacturer of electric vehicles. To be efficient in this area, the automotive group has therefore announced the creation of a European company at the end of 2021, but without giving the picture of the organizational chart. No appointment announced. Six months later, boss Herbert Diess commented enthusiastically on the company’s founding: “We have built one of the most capable teams in the world, which gives us a great competitive advantage. Volkswagen has the resources and influence to put its own battery roadmap in support of its electromobility strategy.”
In fact, a management board of six members, that is, six internal experts “fly high” was promoted to lead this new entity on 1eh June 2022, at the headquarters established in the industrial area of Salzgitter. They should be manage all stages of the value creation chain, especially the supply of raw materials and processing, the development of battery cells and the management of the six existing giga-factories; then develop new operating models, particularly based on the reuse of used vehicle batteries and the closed-loop recycling of valuable raw materials.
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Volkswagen’s top management for its battery business
- Frank Blome, President and CEO. After holding various positions at Continental AG, he led two joint ventures that were subsequently absorbed by Daimler AG. He joined Volkswagen AG in 2018, where he holds the position of Head of the Battery Division in the Technical Innovations Department (Technology) since 2020.
- Sebastian Wolf, Director of Operations. He will be responsible, among other things, for the planning, construction and operation of battery cell factories in Europe. Its competence will also extend to questions of logistics, equipment and recycling. A former production engineer and executive at Bosch, since 2021 he has been responsible for battery cell operations within the Battery division.
- Kai Alexander Müller, Chief Financial Officer. Previously at Bank of America and Barclays, CFO of VW Group’s Battery division, he will notably assume responsibility for financial control and accounting, treasury and investor relations.
- Soonho Ahn, Technical Director. The former Apple, LG Chem and Samsung SDI and CTO of Volkswagen’s Battery Division will be responsible for technology and product development, testing and evaluation, among other things.
- Jörg Teichmann, Purchasing Manager. It will oversee the procurement of raw materials, supplier management and cost analyses. He notably worked for BMW before joining Volkswagen in 2016 as head of value analysis. He holds the position of purchasing director of Volkswagen Group Components since 2021.
- Sebastian Krapoth, Head of Human Resources, Corporate Culture, Change Management and Organizational Issues. He joined VW in 1999 and progressed until 2019 to head of human resources for Volkswagen Slovakia, in Bratislava.
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The Volkswagen Group is recruiting
In addition to this board, the Volkswagen Group launched a recruitment campaign called “Battery Valley” to expand its portfolio of skills. Salzgitter’s staff is to increase from 750 to 1,200 employees in a short period of time and of the approximately 500 positions to be filled, 200 are reserved for candidates from outside the group. Job descriptions are visible online, on a platform or in social networks. “This campaign targets international battery specialists, who are currently in high demand, and not only in the automotive and energy sectors. It is not exclusively aimed at chemists with experience in Lithium batteries- Ion, which will immediately operate in cell and cell component development activities, but also targets electrical engineers, managers planning production processes, quality engineers experienced in the chemical industry or production processes, or even experts in international partnerships and investments »it is taught.