The Volkswagen Group has lined up its launch crew for the mission to quickly and comprehensively industrialize new battery technologies. A highly talented team led by Frank Blome will work from their base in Salzgitter to expand the rapidly growing battery business and turn Volkswagen into a global cell manufacturer. To this end, a six-member Executive Board has been appointed to manage the new independent European company (Société Européenne), an operation that will employ top international experts from the fields of technology, procurement, production and finance. The board will begin work on July 1 and oversee all activities along the battery value chain – from the procurement and processing of raw materials to the development of the Volkswagen unit cell and the management of the company’s initial six gigafactories. This work will also include new business models involving second-life uses for vehicle batteries and closed-loop recycling of valuable raw materials. The company will be headquartered at the Salzgitter site, which serves as the Group’s battery hub in Europe.
Herbert Diess, CEO Volkswagen AG: “We have set up one of the most competent battery teams in the world and are therefore at the forefront of the competition. Volkswagen has the size and clout to secure the ramp-up of its e-mobility strategy with its own battery roadmap.”
Thomas Schmall, the Group Board Member for Technology and the Chairman of the Board of Management of Volkswagen Group Components, added: “A successful mission needs a clear goal, a clear strategy for getting there and a team with a strong team spirit. By this, we will be a driving force behind the transformation of the automotive industry and the future of Volkswagen.”
An overview of the management team at the new battery company:
Chief Executive Officer
Frank Blome will oversee the entire operation as Chief Executive Officer. Blome was born in 1969 in Lingen (Ems). After completing vocational training as an electrician, Blome majored in electrical engineering at the Bielefeld University of Applied Sciences. After holding various positions at Continental AG, he headed two joint ventures that eventually became subsidiaries of Daimler AG: Deutsche ACCUmotive GmbH and Li-Tec Battery GmbH. In 2018, he joined Volkswagen AG and has been Head of the Battery division in the Group’s Technology division since 2020.
Chief Operations Officer
As Chief Operations Officer, Sebastian Wolf will be responsible for the planning, construction and operation of the planned cell factories in Europe, among other things. This work will include logistics, equipment and recycling. Wolf was born in 1990 in Oelsnitz in the Vogtland region of eastern Germany. After earning his diploma from a college-preparatory high school in Istanbul, Wolf attended the universities Aachen, Bath and Tsinghua in Beijing. The production engineer later held management positions at Bosch and Boston Consulting, among other places, before becoming European CEO of the Chinese battery manufacturer Farasis Energy. Wolf has been Head of Operations Battery Cell in the Battery division since 2021.
Chief Financial Officer
As Chief Financial Officer, Kai Alexander Müller will be responsible for Controlling & Accounting, Treasury, and Investor Relations, among other things. Müller was born in Frankfurt am Main in 1990. After finishing high school in Brunei, he attended the University of Oxford, graduating with a master of engineering degree in materials, economics and management. He held various positions at Berenberg and the Bank of America before becoming the Head of Automotive Equity at Barclays in London. Müller helped carrying out several IPOs. At the beginning of 2022, Müller joined the Volkswagen Group as CFO of the Battery division.
Chief Technology Officer
As Chief Technology Officer, Soonho Ahn will be responsible for technology and product development as well as testing and analytics, among other things. Ahn was born in Seoul in 1960. The chemical engineer first studied in Korea and earned his doctorate in 1992 on the subject of electrochemistry for battery applications at Auburn University in the United States. Following his academic career, he held various management positions at the battery manufacturers LG Chem and Samsung SDI in Korea, where he was most recently head of development. In 2018, he became Global Head of Battery Development at Apple. Ahn became the CTO of the Battery division at the beginning of 2022.
Chief Purchasing Officer
As Chief Purchasing Officer, Jörg Teichmann will be responsible for raw material purchasing, supplier management and value engineering, among other things. Teichmann was born in 1971 in Neustadt an der Orla in the eastern German state of Thuringia. After earning a degree in business administration, he first worked for the automotive supplier Butz leper. He then held various management positions in procurement and supplier management at ZF Friedrichshafen AG. In 2009, he joined the BMW Group as Head of Cost Engineering. In 2016, Teichmann joined Volkswagen AG as Head of Value Engineering and has been the Chief Procurement Officer for Group Components since 2021.
Chief Human Resources Officer
As Chief Human Resources Officer, Sebastian Krapoth will be responsible for human resources, culture & change management and organizational issues, among other things. Krapoth was born in the northern German city of Göttingen in 1970. He earned a degree in psychology and began his professional career in 1999 at Volkswagen Coaching GmbH. He later held a range of management positions in the human resources department of Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles. In 2014, Krapoth joined the company that is now known as Volkswagen Group Services GmbH as Head of Human Resources and authorized signatory. He became chairman of the Management Board in 2016. In 2019, he was appointed Chief Human Resources Officer of Volkswagen Slovakia in Bratislava, Slovakia.
Recruiting campaign launched for “Battery Valley”:
Volkswagen to hire many battery experts
The battery team in Salzgitter is scheduled to grow from 750 to 1,200 employees in a short time. More than 200 of the approximately 500 vacancies are to be filled by external candidates. To recruit other experts, Volkswagen Talent Marketing is launching a “digital only” personnel marketing and recruiting campaign. To attract applicants, the campaign will place a link to the landing page https://www.volkswagen-karriere.de/en/specials/battery-valley.html on Volkswagen Career’s profiles in the social media Xing, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram.
The campaign will be aimed at international battery experts, individuals who are highly sought after not just by the automotive industry and energy companies. The company is focusing not just on chemists with relevant experience in the field of Li-Ion batteries who can immediately enter the field of cell and cell component development. It is also looking for electrical engineers, process planners for battery cell production, quality employees with experience in the chemical industry or production process-related companies as well as experts working in the field of international partnerships and investments.
More information about the battery company: