Herbert DiessDr. Herbert Diess was born in 1958 in Munich; the 56 year old studied vehicle technology in his home city, graduating with a diploma in 1983. Between 1984-1989 he was a researcher with the Institute for Machine Tools and Industrial Management.

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He joined automotive supplier Bosch in 1989, working at the firm’s Stuttgart and Spanish Treto facilities. Dr. Diess joined BMW AG in 1996, with roles including production and development at BMW-owned Rover Group factories in Longbridge and Oxford.

Dr. Diess was recruited to the BMW board in 2007, leading product development. He also reportedly became an advocate of electric cars, as BMW launched its i range of EVs and range extenders.

A surprise move came in late 2014: Volkswagen announced Dr. Diess was to join it as chairman of the Volkswagen passenger cars division. He begun work at Volkswagen AG on 1 July 2015. Now-ousted chief Martin Winterkorn led the recruitment of Dr. Diess – and also came to an arrangement with BMW Group allowing him to join the firm three months earlier than planned.