Porsche Cars North America President and CEO Dr. Kjell Gruner will depart from the company, the automaker announced this week. His leave is effective July 6, but Porsche hasn’t selected his successor. The automaker says an announcement will happen in the “near future.”
In the meantime, Porsche Cars NA COO Joe Lawrence and CFO Thierry Kartochian will lead the business. Both are vice presidents. Porsche didn’t provide a reason for Gruner’s departure, and Motor1.com reached out to the automaker to learn more about the decision. We’ll update this story if we hear back.
Detlev von Platen, a Porsche AG board member for sales and marketing, thanked Gruner “for his excellent work” at the automaker and wished him the best “both personally and professionally.
Before leading Porsche Cars North America, Gruner served as the automaker’s vice president of marketing for Porsche AG from 2010 until he was named Porsche Cars NA’s CEO in 2020. His tenure saw Porsche grow its US retail network to nearly 200 sites. He joined Porsche in 1999, working in several departments before leaving for Daimler in 2004. He’d worked for Mercedes-Benz Cars before rejoining Porsche in 2010 as chief marketing officer.
Gruner’s departure is just the recent executive shakeup within Volkswagen Group. Late last month, Audi announced that it would replace its CEO, promoting Gernot Döllner to the position held by Markus Duesmann since April 2020. However, Döllner won’t take over until September 1. Volkswagen Group CEO Oliver Blume, who is also the CEO of Porsche AG, recently expressed concern about Audi’s product rollout.
Porsche hasn’t announced sales results for the year’s second quarter, but it did start 2023 strong. Sales were up for every model but the electric Taycan, with Porsche selling 17,440 cars through the first three months, 4,400 more than in 2022. 911 and 718 sales were up 18 and 44 percent, respectively. Global sales rose 2.6 percent last year to 309,884 cars.
Porsche is gearing up to launch more electric vehicles in the coming years. The Taycan is already on sale, soon to be joined by the Macan EV. The automaker will electrify the 718 Boxster/Cayman around 2025, followed by the Cayenne, but the company has another larger electric SUV in development aimed at the Chinese and American markets.