Klaus Zellmer will replace Thomas Schafer at the helm of the brand.
With the appointment of a new CEO in July of this year, a new chapter in the history of Skoda will begin. Klaus Zellmer will succeed Thomas Schafer as CEO of the company on July 1. As required under Czech law, Zellmer will be appointed as a new member of Skoda’s Board of Management, with the Board of Management electing him as their new Chairman.
In 1997, Zellmer began his work in the automobile sector as a Porsche assistant. He relocated to France two years later to work in the Stuttgart-based company’s sales department. He became head of marketing in Germany after a number of jobs inside the sports car company, and was promoted to Chairman of the Board of Management in 2010. Since September 2020, he has been a member of Volkswagen’s Board of Management, where he is responsible for sales, marketing, and after-sales.
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Skoda’s current CEO, Thomas Schafer, will be promoted to the role of Chairman of the Board of Management of Volkswagen. He’s also been in charge of the Volkswagen brand’s operating business since 1 April this year. In parallel, he will also become Brand Chairman at Volkswagen Group and will head up the ‘Volume’ brand group.
“Thomas Schafer has guided the company safely through two extremely challenging years and at the same time formulated a clear plan for the future with the Next Level – Skoda Strategy 2030,” Murat Aksel, Chairman of Skoda, comments. “Today, Skoda is more electric, digital, and international than ever. Thomas Schäfer has laid the foundations for a promising future for the Skoda brand by successfully launching the electric Enyaq iV and other planned e-models.”
Volkswagen Group’s CEO Herbert Diess recently admitted Skoda’s “capacities in manufacturing and R&D are fully booked” and there are no plans of bringing the Czech brand to the United States. The company will remain focused on the European market and will also lead VAG’s operations in India, Russia, and other countries. Meanwhile, a brand new concept vehicle is expected to be introduced soon, previewing Skoda’s future design language.