Volkswagen of America has hired longtime luxury executive Johan de Nysschen as its new COO for the brand in North America.
De Nysschen, 59, who was ousted as head of Cadillac in April 2018 after a tumultuous four-year stint, and who previously served as head of the Infiniti brand and Audi of America, will assume the new role with the Volkswagen brand on Oct. 1.
In the position, he will report to Volkswagen of American CEO Scott Keogh, who previously reported to de Nysschen when both worked at Audi of America. De Nysschen left Audi of America in May 2012 after 19 years. Since leaving Cadillac, de Nysschen has worked as a management consultant, according to his page on the social media site LinkedIn.
During de Nysschen's stint at Cadillac, the South Africa-born executive was given unprecedented freedom to run GM's luxury brand. He oversaw the move of the brand's headquarters out of Detroit to New York City and was given autonomy to operate separately from GM's core brands, which he convinced leadership was needed to successfully transform the brand.
In a written statement, Keogh – who will mark one year since becoming CEO of both the brand and Volkswagen Group of America next week -- said de Nysschen "will help make us faster, better and smarter. He'll speed our decision-making and dive deep into our day-to-day business so we can continue to make this brand matter again."
Volkswagen has a long-term goal of returning to the 5 percent market share it enjoyed in the U.S. in 1970, a feat that would mean roughly doubling its existing share. In his own written statement released by VW, de Nysschen said he was "looking forward to rejoining a Group and leader I know well and admire. This is a great opportunity to play an important role at a company of this scale at a fascinating time."