Bentley Motors has announced the appointment of a new CEO – and this time, he’s a Brit. Highly regarded Jaguar Land Rover exec Adrian Hallmark has succeeded the influential German Wolfgang Dürheimer and will start his new role on 1 February 2018.
55-year-old Hallmark has, since 2013, been group strategy director for Jaguar Land Rover, after previously spending three years redefining the strategy for Jaguar as global director of the British sports car brand.
Prior to that, he held senior roles at Saab and Volkswagen both in Germany and North America: Hallmark was also managing director of Porsche Cars GB in the late 1990s.
It’s not his first time at Crewe, either: he was board member for sales and marketing at Bentley Motors between 1999 and 2005
Volkswagen Group CEO Matthias Müller said he was “delighted to welcome Adrian Hallmark back to the Volkswagen Group, and back to Bentley Motors.
“He has a wealth of international automotive experience couples with a deep understanding of the Bentley Brand and I am confident he will lead this extraordinary British company to even greater success.”
Bentley executive shake-up
There have been other moves at the top table within Bentley Motors – with another Brit, Chris Craft, joining Hallmark as sales and marketing director.
58-year-old Craft is another former Porsche GB managing director, and has also led both Volkswagen and Skoda in the UK. He has worked for the Volkswagen Group for 24 years.
Engineering board member Rolf Frech is also to be succeeded by Dr. Werner Tietz, who joins from Porsche after having “played a leading role in the current Panamera and the 911 models”. And Dr. Astrid Fontaine is to succeed Marlies Rogait as board member for people, digitisation and IT.
Dürheimer’s unexpected retirement also sees him vacate his role as head of Bugatti – and in another surprise move, Audi Sport GmbH Stephan Winkelmann has been announced as his successor. Dürheimer’s retirement was at his own request, said Bentley Motors in a statement, but he “will continue to take a key role advising Volkswagen Group motorsport”.
Müller has left us in little doubt as to how significant Dürheimer’s contribution to Bentley Motors and the Volkswagen Group has been. “He has had an outstanding career and has launched some of the most important cars the Group has ever created, including two generations of the Porsche 911, the Porsche Carrera GT, Porsche Panamera, Porsche Cayenne, Bugatti Chiron, the Bentley Bentayga as well as the all-new Bentley Continental GT.
“I am pleased that we will continue to benefit from his extensive motorsport experience as he maintains an advisory role on motorsport to the Volkswagen Group.”