MUNICH -- Volkswagen Group last week named Ulrich Hackenberg as head of technical development for Audi. He replaces Wolfgang Duerheimer, who will move to another position within the VW Group.
Hackenberg, 63, also will become head of technical development for all VW Group brands, VW said in a statement. He has led development at the VW brand since 2007.
Duerheimer, 55, a former Bentley CEO and r&d chief at Porsche, has come under criticism from top VW Group managers who think the brand is losing momentum.
Audi, which uses "advancement through technology" as a marketing slogan, has become a follower of trends set by BMW, critics say. Audi is also too dependent on China, a senior VW Group executive said in an interview.
Hackenberg is a confidante of VW Group CEO Martin Winterkorn. Hackenberg worked at Audi in various development-related positions from 2002 to 2007, assisting Winterkorn, who was then still head of the brand.
Duerheimer took over as Audi development chief last September after his predecessor, Michael Dick, was replaced in a groupwide management shuffle following criticism that Audi was losing its technology edge.
Heinz-Jakob Neusser will succeed Hackenberg as VW brand development chief while retaining his current job as VW Group powertrain development boss, VW said in its statement.
The changes take effect July 1.
Reuters and Bloomberg contributed to this report