Porsche’s research and development boss, Wolfgang Hatz, has resigned from his post after five years at the helm, with Michael Steiner taking over as his replacement with immediate effect.
Hatz (pictured above) is stepping down after an extended period of voluntary leave following ongoing Dieselgate investigations. Although no evidence has been found to suggest Hatz was involved in the Volkswagen Group scandal, the 57-year-old has now decided to leave Porsche of his own accord.
Hatz's departure marks the end of a 14-year stint working for Porsche. He was head of the R&D department through the development and launch of key models such as the 918 Spyder and 911 GT3 RS. He was also an instrumental figure during the creation of the Mission E concept car of 2015 (above).
Hatz said in a statement: "I look back fondly on my time at Porsche AG and am very happy that Michael Steiner is taking over as my successor.”
Steiner, aged 51, moves across from his role as head of quality management, which he had held since 2011. Before this, he has also worked as head of innovation and concepts. He led the development of the Panamera series before the first-generation model was launched.
Steiner (above) has announced that he wants to fuse Porsche tradition with the technology of tomorrow. He takes the R&D head role at a time when Porsche is increasing the amount of electrification, digitalisation and connectivity of its range.
The car maker’s next-generation 911, for example, is expected to feature a hybrid engine, while the all-electric Mission E concept has also been confirmed for production, with sales due to kick off in 2020.