Stuttgart. For more than twelve years, Hans Riedel has led the Sales & Marketing Division in his role as a Director of Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG. He is now leaving the Group of his own accord, with personal reasons causing the 58-year-old Director to ask the Supervisory Board to terminate his contract. The Supervisory Board has appointed Klaus Berning (48), who has been with BMW AG since 1984, as his successor.
Hans Riedel was already considered a sales and marketing specialist when he took over the reins of Porsche’s Sales & Marketing Department in 1994. On completion of his studies in Modern Languages and Business Economics at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, he initially worked as an international brand manager at Young & Rubicam advertising agency in Frankfurt am Main before moving to BMW AG in 1980. Here, he assumed various managerial roles related to Sales & Marketing, including more than four years as Vice President of Marketing at BMW North America. From 1989 to 1993, in his capacity as Sales & Marketing Director, he assisted in the reorganization of the motorcycle division.
Following his move to the Stuttgart-based sports car manufacturer, Riedel played a crucial role in redefining the Porsche brand’s core values and subsequently revamping and expanding its product portfolio, for example through the introduction of the third Cayenne series. At the same time, he drove an internationalization offensive in Sales & Marketing, with the aim of reducing dependence on the American market. Whereas Porsche was represented in only 40 markets in 1994, today the Group owns twelve sales subsidiaries, several regional offices in growth markets and 600 largely exclusive dealerships in a total of 102 markets. Riedel also remodeled the brand communication in order to promote a consistent worldwide brand image.
Prof. Dr. Helmut Sihler, Chairman of the Supervisory Board at the Stuttgart sports car manufacturer, praised the long-standing Sales & Marketing Director, saying, “Under Hans Riedel, sales rose from around 18,000 vehicles in the year 1993/1994 to well over 90,000 vehicles in the current fiscal year. What could better describe a Sales & Marketing Director’s success than this development? The Supervisory Board would therefore have liked Hans Riedel, the longest-serving Sales & Marketing Director in the automotive industry, to stay with Porsche AG for a little longer. But we respect his decision to withdraw from the public eye after a career that has been successful and exhausting in equal measure. The Supervisory Board, Directors and shareholders wish to express their most sincere thanks for his exceptional performance.”
Dr. Wendelin Wiedeking, CEO of Porsche AG, stressed that all areas of the sports car manufacturer’s Sales & Marketing Department now bear Hans Riedel’s hallmarks. He said, “When Mr. Riedel joined in 1994, we gained at precisely the right time a sales and marketing professional whose subject knowledge, ideas and ability to attract the right employees made a significant contribution to the realignment of the Porsche brand. Moreover, he showed that successful marketing does not depend on the size of the budget, but rather on a consistent concept and efficient implementation. I hope that our new Head of Sales & Marketing, Klaus Berning, will continue the work of his predecessor but also have the courage to steer a new course.”
Klaus Berning was born in Lüdenscheid on October 30, 1957. In 1984, following vocational training with accompanying studies at KPMG Management Consultants in Amsterdam, he joined BMW AG’s Management Accounting Department. He was subsequently responsible for BMW Financial Services in the Netherlands, in Italy and at the Group Headquarters in Munich. From 2002 to 2004, he managed the BMW national subsidiary in Spain. Since 2004, he has been responsible for the Asia, Pacific, Africa and Eastern Europe regions in his role as Head of Sales. Mr. Berning is married and has two children.