Volkswagen Group head of brand communications Peter Thul exits amid emissions crisis

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Thul was replaced by Stefan Ohletz earlier this week

WOLFSBURG, GERMANY — Volkswagen Group’s head of Volkswagen brand communications Peter Thul has departed the company after 11 years amid the automaker’s emissions crisis.

Stefan Ohletz succeeded Thul on Tuesday. Ohletz, who was formerly managing editor of group communications at Volkswagen, is reporting directly to Herbert Diess, CEO of the Volkswagen brand.

Thul’s departure comes three months after the US Environmental Protection Agency accused VW of cheating diesel emissions tests, which has in turn led to the recall of millions of cars globally, the replacement of its CEO and top comms executive, and a huge Q3 loss.

The Financial Times reported on Wednesday that VW has been "blundering through communications over the emissions scandal."

Thul worked for VW in various positions since 2004, stepping into his most recent role in July as head of Volkswagen brand communications and press spokesperson for Diess. Thul became a member of the group’s executive team at that time.

Ohletz has worked at the Volkswagen Group since 1998, initially managing global communications for production and plants. He later became editor-in-chief of group communications and head of internal communications, and was subsequently tasked with setting up and leading the group representative office of Volkswagen Group in London.

In 2003, Ohletz returned to the automaker’s headquarters in Wolfsburg, Germany, as press spokesperson for HR for the brand and the group. Since 2012, he has been a member of the executive team for group communications. He was a journalist earlier in his career.

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