Porsche’s North American CEO Leaves Company

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky

President and CEO of Porsche Cars North America, Kjell Gruner, has left the company. The former Porsche AG chief marketing officer took the wheel to oversee our region less than three years ago and has reportedly made an abrupt exodus. 

According to sources speaking with Automotive News, losing the CEO was an unexpected turn of events. "The news came out of left field," said an insider who requested to remain anonymous.

Porsche Cars North America COO Joe Lawrence and CFO Thierry Kartochian will assume the relevant business duties until a suitable replacement is found. 

From Automotive News:

In a statement, Porsche noted Gruner was leaving the company "at his own request."
Gruner joined Porsche in 1999 from Boston Consulting Group. In 2004, he left Porsche for Daimler, where he rose to director of strategy for Mercedes-Benz Cars before returning to Porsche in 2010.

One of Gruner’s final acts as CEO involved leading a retailer meeting in the Canary Islands in late June. It’s unclear why he suddenly left Porsche and it's unlikely that we’ll get any concrete answers from the manufacturer. 

“We thank Kjell Gruner for his excellent work at Porsche,” stated Detlev von Platen, Member of the Executive Board for Sales and Marketing at Porsche AG. "First as the Head of Marketing globally and then leading the American market, he has played an important role in the global development of the Porsche brand in recent years. Both personally and professionally, we wish him all the best.”

[Image: Porsche AG]

Become a TTAC insider. Get the latest news, features, TTAC takes, and everything else that gets to the truth about cars first by  subscribing to our newsletter.

Matt Posky
Matt Posky

A staunch consumer advocate tracking industry trends and regulation. Before joining TTAC, Matt spent a decade working for marketing and research firms based in NYC. Clients included several of the world’s largest automakers, global tire brands, and aftermarket part suppliers. Dissatisfied with the corporate world and resentful of having to wear suits everyday, he pivoted to writing about cars. Since then, that man has become an ardent supporter of the right-to-repair movement, been interviewed on the auto industry by national radio broadcasts, driven more rental cars than anyone ever should, participated in amateur rallying events, and received the requisite minimum training as sanctioned by the SCCA. Handy with a wrench, Matt grew up surrounded by Detroit auto workers and managed to get a pizza delivery job before he was legally eligible. He later found himself driving box trucks through Manhattan, guaranteeing future sympathy for actual truckers. He continues to conduct research pertaining to the automotive sector as an independent contractor and has since moved back to his native Michigan, closer to where the cars are born. A contrarian, Matt claims to prefer understeer — stating that front and all-wheel drive vehicles cater best to his driving style.

More by Matt Posky

Join the conversation
4 of 11 comments