Volkswagen has hired Apple software guru and former Mercedes-Benz executive Johann Jungwirth to lead its new “digitization strategy department,” marking the latest twist in the global battle for talent as the auto industry pursues self-driving vehicles.
Jungwirth will report directly to new Volkswagen Group CEO Matthias Mueller, signaling the significance of his role for the German automaker.
Volkswagen provided little detail about what “digitization strategy” entails.
At Apple, Jungwirth, 42, held the murky title of director of Mac systems engineering, with responsibility for overseeing what VW described as the “special projects group.”
His hiring at Apple — done in relative secrecy at the time — was viewed as key to the technology giant’s ambitions to build its own self-driving vehicle. But he only spent about a year there.
The Romanian native’s move to Apple came after a five-year tenure as president and CEO of Mercedes-Benz Research & Development North America in Silicon Valley, where his responsibilities included oversight of autonomous driving technologies and electric vehicle advancements.
He was also vice president of infotainment and telematics — the division that developed touch-screen systems for Mercedes vehicles.
Volkswagen CEO Mueller told reporters last month that electric vehicles will play a significant role as the company overhauls its product strategy in the wake of an emissions scandal.
Written by Nathan Bomey of USA Today
(Source: USA Today)