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Two Key Players Leave VW
Jan. 12, 2007

Two Key Players Leave VW
Wolfgang Bernhard poses with a Volkswagen R32.

Two key players are leaving Volkswagen, VolksWatch learned this week.

Two Key Players Leave VW
Kerri Martin with a cabrio Beetle

Wolfgang Bernhard, chairman of the Volkswagen brand group and member of Volkswagen AG's board of management, will step down as of Jan. 31, closing out two full years with the carmaker. His departure is by "mutual agreement," VW said in a statement.

Bernhard is known for his dedication to quality, new models and trimming costs — efforts to enhance VW's competitiveness after former CEO Ferdinand Piech lost sight of such while trying to take the brand upscale.

CEO Martin Winterkorn will take over Bernhard's duties.

Another casualty is at Volkswagen Of America, where head marketer Kerri Martin resigned on Jan. 10 after almost two years with the company, reports Automotive News.

Martin explored the boundaries with much-talked-about advertising such as a high-profile Rabbit ad on the back cover of Playboy, as well as "Safety Happens" TV commercials showing people getting into actual accidents in VWs and walking away.

Martin's successor has not yet been named.

Both personnel losses will surely have an effect on both the Volkswagen company and its products.

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