ŠKODA AUTO announces changes to Board of Management

February 10, 2021

ŠKODA AUTO has announced changes to its Board of Management. Maren Gräf, currently Head of Group HR Top Management, will take over as Board Member for Human Resources.

Mladá Boleslav, 10 February 2021 – Maren Gräf, currently Head of Group HR Top Management, will take over as Board Member for Human Resources. She succeeds Bohdan Wojnar, who has decided to step down from his role after ten years. Wojnar will continue to work closely with the company as President of the Czech Automotive Industry Association. In addition, Czech Volkswagen Group Top Manager Martin Jahn will be rejoining the company as Board Member for Sales and Marketing, replacing Alain Favey. Favey will shortly be taking on a new role in the Volkswagen Group, to be announced in due course. All changes into ŠKODA AUTO’s Board of Management will take effect on 1 March 2021. 

ŠKODA AUTO CEO Thomas Schäfer thanks Bohdan Wojnar for his excellent work as Board Member for Human Resources at ŠKODA AUTO: “He has played a significant role in ŠKODA’s tremendous development over the past decade – a development that is also reflected in the steady growth of our workforce from 26,000 at the beginning of his tenure to nearly 42,000 employees today”, said Schäfer. “I look forward to continuing the close cooperation with Bohdan Wojnar in his role as President of the Czech Association of the Automotive Industry and wish him all the best for this new phase of his life.

“At the same time, I would like to welcome Maren Gräf to the Board of Management. With her, we are gaining a recognised HR expert with international experience and diversifying the Board. She is taking over a HR department that her predecessor Bohdan Wojnar has left in good shape. Her task will now be to take our Human Resources division to the next level. Our aim is to offer all Škodians sustainable employment, while significantly strengthening and expanding our e-mobility and software expertise and promoting the diversity of the ŠKODA family across all areas and levels. I wish Maren Gräf every success and a great start in her new role.”

Gunnar Kilian, Board Member for Human Resources at Volkswagen AG, also thanked Bohdan Wojnar for his successful work on the ŠKODA AUTO Board of Management: “Thanks to his many years of expertise, his initiative and strong personality Bohdan Wojnar has played a crucial role in setting ŠKODA AUTO up for success. Alongside his team, he has created a modern HR function that has served as the strong basis to allow the company to grow its workforce to such an extent, among other things. I would like to thank him for his longstanding commitment to the company and wish him all the best in his future endeavours,” said Kilian. 

He also welcomed Maren Gräf as a new member of the Board of Management: “I am extremely pleased that Maren Gräf has accepted her new role at ŠKODA AUTO. She will be a valuable addition to the ŠKODA AUTO Board as well as to my own HR team. I look forward to working with her.” Kilian adds, “Maren Gräf knows the Volkswagen Group very well, and has built an excellent reputation in the human resources field in her previous roles within the company. Her combined international experience and wealth of expertise in leadership and talent development provide Maren Gräf with the ideal qualifications for her new role.”

Martin Jahn is taking over the helm of the Sales and Marketing division from Alain Favey.

CEO Thomas Schäfer states: “As Board Member for Sales and Marketing, Alain Favey has made a substantial contribution to ŠKODA AUTO’s achievements. His entrepreneurial and cooperative approach with dealers and importers was decisive to the company’s success, especially in the crisis year 2020. I would like to thank him for his excellent work and the trusting cooperation and wish him all the best for the future.”

“I would like to welcome Martin Jahn, who is returning to ŠKODA AUTO as a proven sales and marketing expert to strengthen our Board of Management after spending more than twelve years abroad. His main tasks will include continuing the digitisation of our retail operations, developing new business models for ŠKODA AUTO, growing the business by expanding into emerging markets and sharpening our customer focus. I wish him every success in his new role.”

A lawyer by profession, Maren Gräf first joined the Volkswagen Group in 1999 at Volkswagen Immobilien – initially in the Legal Affairs Department and later as an assistant to the CEO. She worked in the HR Department at Volkswagen AG in Wolfsburg from 2002 to 2005, returning to Volkswagen Immobilien in 2005 as Managing Clerk. In this role, she was responsible for HR management, legal affairs, communication and marketing, as well as business development. Between 2012 and 2015, Maren Gräf worked at FAW-Volkswagen in Changchun, China as Head of Management Development in the HR area. In August 2015, she returned to Wolfsburg to take over as Head of Management Development in the areas of Production & Logistics, Component Production and E-mobility. In November 2018, she was appointed Head of VW Group Top Management HR. Besides these roles, Maren Gräf is also a Supervisory Board Member at Wolfsburg AG.

Bohdan Wojnar has been ŠKODA AUTO Board Member for HR Management since January 2011, making him the longest-standing Czech member on the brand’s Board. In his decade-long tenure as Board Member for HR Management, Mr Wojnar has driven the transformation of the HR Management process, developed the staff training & education system and established the ŠKODA Academy. He has also played an active role in the company’s close cooperation with the KOVO trade union while developing the company’s CSR strategy. This includes establishing the ŠKODA AUTO Endowment Fund that will be investing over CZK 780 million to increase the attractiveness of the regions surrounding the brand’s sites in the Czech Republic. Among other achievements, this strategy has received the Top Responsible Company Award. Mr Wojnar supervised the negotiations with the Czech government in the areas of the automotive industry’s transformation, digitisation and e-mobility while making a significant contribution to the further growth of the ŠKODA AUTO University, including its international accreditation.

Bohdan Wojnar was Vice President from 2011 to 2016 and, since 2016, has been President of the Czech Association of the Automotive Industry. Mr Wojnar has also been a Board Member at the Czech Association for Industry and Transport since 2013 and a member of the government’s National Economic Council, (NERV) since spring 2020. In addition, he holds several positions at various academic institutions where he is going to continue representing ŠKODA AUTO’s interests.

After being ŠKODA AUTO Board Member for HR Management from 2006 to 2008, Martin Jahn was appointed Managing Director of Volkswagen Group NSC (national sales company) in Moscow, Russia where he was responsible for Group Brand Sales. From 2010 to 2016, he was Managing Director of Volkswagen Group Fleet International in Wolfsburg, Germany where his key responsibility was to manage the Volkswagen Group’s global corporate sales. In 2016, he moved to Changchun, China to take over as Executive Vice President for Sales & Marketing and Managing Director of the Volkswagen Brand at FAW-VW. With Mr Jahn as Vice President, FAW-VW has built a firm position in China’s SUV market and successfully introduced and developed the Volkswagen brand’s Jetta while promoting numerous business digitisation initiatives.

Alain Favey has been ŠKODA AUTO’s Board Member for Sales and Marketing since September 2017. In this period, the ŠKODA brand has significantly improved its profitable sales performance and increased its European market share by 1 percentage point to 5.3%. The sales organisation was also intensively prepared for the imminent launch of its first MEB-platform electric vehicle, the ENYAQ iV. Before moving to ŠKODA AUTO as Board Member for Sales and Marketing, he was CEO of Porsche Holding Salzburg, Europe’s largest car distributor.

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