FRANKFURT -- Volkswagen named company veteran Hans-Joachim Rothenpieler as head of group quality assurance, replacing Frank Tuch, who held the job for six years and, according to sources, was suspended amid the automaker's emissions scandal.
Tuch, 48, is leaving VW at his request to take on new challenges elsewhere but will remain an advisor to the group, the automaker said in a statement today.
Tuch was one of nine high-level VW managers put on leave late last year, sources told Automotive News Europe, after the automaker's diesel emissions cheating became public. He has not been accused of wrongdoing and VW said it regretted his decision to quit.
A former head of corporate quality at Porsche, Tuch was picked for the VW Group quality post by former CEO Martin Winterkorn after playing a key role in the sports car brand's rise to the top of the J.D. Power and Associates U.S. Initial Quality Study. Winterkorn wanted Tuch to help the VW and Audi brands boost their rankings in the closely watched survey, German media reports said at the time.
Rothenpieler, 58, will take Tuch's job on Feb. 15. He returns to the same role he held from 2007 until Tuch took the job in 2010.
A mechanical engineer, Rothenpieler has worked for VW for 30 years, holding posts at the VW, Bentley and Skoda brands. He has been head of technical development at VW commercial vehicles since 2014.