Former Cadillac CEO Johan de Nysschen Confirmed as VW North America COO

With Audi and Infiniti also on his resume, de Nysschen joins VW’s executive team in a newly created chief operating officer role.

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Former Cadillac CEO Johan de Nysschen Confirmed as VW North America COO © Former Cadillac CEO Johan de Nysschen Confirmed as VW North America COO

Volkswagen announced Thursday that it's bringing former Cadillac boss Johan de Nysschen as its new North American Chief Operating Officer. The newly created role aims to simplify things within the company and help it better serve the North American market—an initiative that's already yielded products like the Tiguan, the introduction of the Atlas SUV, and the upcoming Atlas Cross Sport. 

Those who keep up with the ins-and-outs of the auto industry's leadership will be already familiar with de Nysschen's CV. His move to VW can be considered a homecoming of sorts given de Nysschen spent almost 20 years with Audi. In 2012, he moved on from the German automaker to become the CEO of Infiniti, where he was largely responsible for that brand's admittedly confusing Q-prefixed naming structure. Seriously, which one is the QX50, again?

After just two years at the Nissan luxury arm, de Nysschen jumped to Cadillac and promptly established yet another somewhat-confusing alphanumeric naming structure there as well. De Nysschen was also behind the GM luxury brand's much-talked-about move from Detroit to New York City—a move that was quickly reversed once de Nysschen stepped down in 2018. According to his LinkedIn profile, he's been working as a self-employed management consultant for the past year and a half.

"This industry, and this brand, are at a transformative moment," said VW Group of America CEO and de Nysschen's new boss, Scott Keogh. "Johan will help make us faster, better and smarter. He'll speed our decision-making and dive deep into our day-to-day business so we can continue to make this brand matter again."

"I'm looking forward to rejoining a Group and leader I know well and admire," said de Nysschen. "This is a great opportunity to play an important role at a company of this scale at a fascinating time."

De Nysschen will assume his new position on Oct. 1.

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