A new chapter in Skoda’s history will begin in July this year when the Czech automaker will have a new CEO. On July 1, Klaus Zellmer will replace Thomas Schafer at the helm of the brand. Zellmer will be appointed as a new member of the Skoda Management Board and subsequently elected by the Management Board as their new Chair, as required by Czech law.
Zellmer started his career in the automotive industry in 1997 as an assistant at Porsche. Just two years later, he moved to France to work in the sales department of the Stuttgart-based company. After several different positions within the sports car brand, he became head of marketing in Germany and was promoted to the position of Chairman of the Management Board in 2010. He has been a member of the Volkswagen Management Board in charge of sales, marketing and after-sales since September 2020.
The current CEO of Skoda, Thomas Schafer, will be promoted to Chairman of the Volkswagen Board of Management. He is also in charge of the Volkswagen brand operating business since April 1 this year. In parallel, he will also become the Brand Chair in the Volkswagen Group and will head the ‘Volume’ brand group.
“Thomas Schafer has safely guided the company through two very challenging years and at the same time formulated a clear plan for the future with the Next Level – Skoda Strategy 2030,” Murat Aksel, Chairman of Skoda, commented. “Today, Skoda is more electric, digital and international than ever. Thomas Schäfer has laid the groundwork for a promising future for the Skoda brand by successfully launching the electric Enyaq iV and other planned e-models.”
Volkswagen Group CEO Herbert Diess recently admitted “Skoda’s manufacturing and R&D capacity is fully booked” and there are no plans to bring the Czech brand to the United States. The company will remain focused on the European market and will also lead VAG’s operations in India, Russia and other countries. Meanwhile, a new concept vehicle is expected to be introduced soon, taking a look at Skoda’s future design language.