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Volkswagen hires BMW engine development expert Markus Duesmann


Berlin: Volkswagen on Tuesday said engine development expert Markus Duesmann, currently head of purchasing and suppliers at rival BMW, is to join the carmaker's management board.

Duesmann is the second high-profile defection from BMW to Volkswagen group following the departure of Herbert Diess in July 2015 as head of the VW brand. Diess took over as chief executive of VW Group in April.

Volkswagen is still trying to recover from a 2015 emissions scandal, while BMW's vehicles have faced fewer regulatory problems tied to excessive pollution when compared with rivals Mercedes, VW, Porsche and Audi.

"Mr. Duesmann, currently Board of Management Member for Purchasing and Supplier Network at BMW AG, will take up his new position as soon as he is able to do so," Volkswagen said in a statement.

BMW said Duesmann had informed its chairman that he would not make himself available for an extension of his contract because of personal reasons.

"As a consequence, the Chairman of the Supervisory Board and Mr. Duesmann agreed that Mr. Duesmann will be relieved of his contractual responsibilities as Management Board Member for Purchasing and Supplier Network with immediate effect," BMW said.

German newspaper Handelsblatt reported that Volkswagen wanted Duesmann to fill the post of Audi chief executive following the arrest of former boss Rupert Stadler.

Duesmann cannot take over as Audi CEO full time until Stadler permanently steps down as head of the Audi brand. Stadler has been temporarily replaced while he remains in custody on suspicion of interfering with a probe into the carmaker's excessive emissions.

VW and Audi have said that Stadler is presumed innocent unless proven otherwise. (Reporting by Caroline Copley and Edward Taylor; editing by Jason Neely and Jane Merriman)

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