Karl-Thomas Neumann, ousted as chief executive of Continental, is rejoining Volkswagen as head of a new unit responsible for developing electric mobility.

He takes up his new position next month as Group Chief Officer, reporting directly to VW's CEO Martin Winterkorn. The appointment was approved by the supervisory board yesterday.

Winterkorn said in a statement: "Electric traction is a crucial technology for the VW Group and offers enormous potential."

Neumann left Continental in August after losing a power struggle with controlling shareholder Schaeffler Group, making him the second Conti CEO to leave the company within a year.  Manfred Wennemer left the auto parts maker at the end of August 2008.

Neumann, 48, previously held positions at various VW electronics departments from 1999 until 2004 before leaving for Conti.