VWSA appoints new leader as Schaefer leaves to head up Skoda
Port Elizabeth - Volkswagen Group South Africa’s Chairman and Managing Director Thomas Schaefer has been appointed as the new Global CEO of the Skoda brand.
The German will take over as Chairman of the Board at Skoda Auto with immediate effect, taking the place Bernhard Maier, who is handing over the office to his successor after almost five years at the helm.
Schaefer has headed the local VW operation for five years, and in 2017 his role was expanded to include the responsibility for Sub Saharan Africa too as part of the company’s expansion strategy in the region.
Schaefer will be succeeded by 44-year-old Dr Robert Cisek, who is currently in charge of production strategy for the VW passenger car brand in Wolfsburg, Germany.
Dr Cisek previously worked at BMW as head of industrial engineering. He holds a doctorate degree in Industrial Management and a Mechanical Engineering degree from the Technical University of Munich.
He will aim to build on the legacy of Schaefer, who managed to ramp up international exports by 30 percent during his tenure at VWSA, while also overseeing a record production volume for the company in 2019.
"My tenure as the MD of VWSA has been the highlight of my career so far,” Schaefer said.
“I am immensely proud to have worked for and led such an impactful and good company. Together with my team, we have moved VWSA forward with outstanding production and sales results which have earned our company recognition locally and abroad."