Volkswagen has named Johann Jungwirth, who has moved to the role from Apple in the US, to head up a newly established ‘Digitalization Strategy Department’.

Jungwirth reports direct to VW Group CEO Matthias Müller. Volkswagen says the move is strongly “reinforcing its position in digitalization, which is a very important future field for the automotive industry”.

Jungwirth was previously named Director, Mac Systems Engineering at Apple in Cupertino, California, in 2014. He was responsible for innovation in design and engineering in product development as well as hiring, growing and leading a multicultural research & development team and supporting the Special Projects Group.

Previously, he worked at Mercedes-Benz as President and CEO of Mercedes-Benz Research & Development North America to head the Research & Development Center in Sunnyvale, CA (USA). From the centre in Silicon Valley, Jungwirth and his team were responsible for all research and development business units in the US market such as autonomous driving, powertrain and electric drive, technology and vehicle development, as well as telematics and user interaction design. From 2008 to 2014 Jungwirth was also Vice-President Infotainment and Telematics responsible for all research, engineering and product development for infotainment and connected car solutions.

Jungwirth, 42,  holds an electrical engineering degree Dipl.-Ing. (BA) from Baden-Wuerttemberg Cooperative State University in Stuttgart. He also participated in the International Motor Vehicle Program of Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, MA (USA).