Porsche wants ex-Mercedes software expert

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Software expert Sajjad Khan is expected to join Porsche board to oversee delivery of new tech.

Porsche has announced its intention to hire Sajjad Khan, former Mercedes-Benz chief technical officer, to represent its IT division on its executive board.

The firm is yet to confirm the appointment – or indeed a start date – but said Khan “could begin his duties as soon as he is available to do so” in an official statement, suggesting discussions are well advanced.

German publication Handelsblatt has reported that Khan’s appointment is imminent but that it hinges on Mercedes allowing the move under non-competitive measures agreed as part of Khan’s 2021 departure.

New Volkswagen Group CEO (and Porsche CEO) Oliver Blume said: “We look forward to being able to welcome Sajjad Khan, a proven digital expert, to the board and thereby strengthen our IT team in a critical position.

“Our industry is experiencing the greatest transformation in its history. We laid the strategic groundwork very early on. Our focus now is on implementation, which we want to continue to drive forward together with Sajjad Khan.”

During his time at Mercedes, Khan oversaw the development of the firm’s MB.OS operating system, the MBUX interface and the Hyperscreen infotainment system featured in the Mercedes-Benz EQS, plus much more.

He previously worked for BMW, where he was responsible for the Connected Drive services, which include the lauded iDrive infotainment package.

Porsche’s move signals that it might intend to set up its own software division, perhaps breaking from the Cariad division that is currently responsible for all Volkswagen Group brands’ software development.

Former Volkswagen Group chairman Herbert Diess officially stepped down this week, having failed to execute on his ambitious software strategy.

His successor, Blume, recently listed Cariad as point number five in his 10-point plan for the Group, listing its importance above the upcoming SSP EV platform (sixth), batteries (seventh) and sustainability (ninth).

“The focus is on our financial robustness, the advancement of our products, software and technologies, regions like China and North America, as well as sustainability and the capital market,” said Blume in a tweet from the VW Group’s Twitter account

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