It wasn’t too long ago when wrote about the promotion for then-Audi USA CEO Scott Keogh, who became the CEO of the VW Group in America. Keogh’s replacement was Mark Del Rosso, who seemed highly qualified for the job. Less than a year since Del Rosso’s move to CEO, though, he’s stepping down.
There’s no word as to why he’s being replaced as CEO of Audi USA. Audi only said “Mark Del Rosso, president of Audi of America, is leaving the company, effective immediately.” That doesn’t sound great, if we’re honest. Typically, if you’re leaving a company on good terms, the company doesn’t make your termination “effective immediately”.
In fact, in the press release, the only kind words about Del Rosso were about his time leading the brand’s U.S. sales operations, not as CEO. So we’re wondering if something unfortunate happened that led to his leaving. We’re hoping not but it is an but telling that Del Rosso is gone not even a year into his time as CEO. Audi sales have been a bit low as of late and profits are down, so that could have contributed to the decision.
Replacing him will be Cian O’Brien as interim CEO. Prior to becoming interim CEO, O’Brien worked as the COO (Chief Operating Officer) of Audi USA. However, he will remain as COO, as well as CEO, until he can find a proper replacement for the top spot.
O’Brien has been in the automotive industry for more than two decades and lead the sales operations of Audi UK between 2014 and 2017, when he eventually joined Audi USA.
This is a very interesting turn of events and we’re interested to find out what made the switch occur. Hopefully there was no wrongdoing and that other board members just wanted a change in leadership.