Skoda Auto appoints Klaus Zellmer as the new CEO, effective July 1, 2022, to be subsequently elected by the Board of Management as their new Chairman, as required by Czech law. Zellmer succeeds Thomas Schäfer, who will step down as Chairman of the Board of Skoda Auto at the end of June.
As Chief Operating Officer, Schäfer has also been in charge of the Volkswagen brand’s operating business since 1 April 2022 and will become its Chairman on 1 July 2022. At the same time, he will be joining the Group Board of Management as Brand Chairman and will head up the ‘Volume’ brand group.
Murat Aksel, Chairman of the Skoda Auto Supervisory Board, says: “Thomas Schäfer has guided the company safely through two extremely challenging years and at the same time formulating a clear plan for the future with the NEXT LEVEL – ŠKODA STRATEGY 2030. Today, ŠKODA AUTO is more electric, digital and international than ever. Thomas Schäfer has laid the foundations for a promising future for the ŠKODA brand by successfully launching the electric ENYAQ iV and other planned e-models, taking on responsibility for regions and platforms for the Volkswagen Group and successfully implementing the INDIA 2.0 project.”
He added, “I would like to thank him for this on behalf of the entire Supervisory Board.” Murat Aksel adds: “At the same time, I am delighted that we have been able to recruit one of our most high-profile managers to ŠKODA AUTO. Klaus Zellmer has more than 20 years of experience in the industry. During this time, he has not only distinguished himself as a leading automotive expert but has also demonstrated great strategic and entrepreneurial foresight. I am convinced that, alongside the Board team, he will do everything in his power to continue to systematically advance ŠKODA AUTO’s successful development.”
Klaus Zellmer, who earned a degree in business administration, began his professional career in 1997 as an assistant to a Member of the Board of Porsche AG. In 1999, he moved to Porsche France to work in sales network development, subsequently taking over as Area Manager for North America.
In 2000, as project manager, he oversaw the development of the sales and marketing areas relating to the new Porsche plant in Leipzig. After managing the customer centre at the Porsche plant, Zellmer became Head of Marketing at Porsche Germany in 2007. He then rose to the position of Chairman of the Board of Management in 2010.
In 2015, Zellmer joined Porsche Cars North America in Atlanta, USA, as President & CEO. Since 15 September 2020, Klaus Zellmer has been a member of the Board of Management of the Volkswagen Passenger Cars brand responsible for Sales, Marketing and After Sales. Throughout this time, he has played a key role in consistently aligning Volkswagen with the needs of its customers in terms of organisation, digitisation and sustainability.