WOLFSBURG — Volkswagen brand communications head Peter Thul has become the latest casualty of the company's emissions scandal, stepping down after 11 years with the German automaker.

Thul is replaced by Stefan Ohletz, formerly managing editor of group communications. Thul's departure follows the exit of his boss Stefan Grühsem in October. Grühsem was replaced by head of group communications, investor relations and external relations Hans-Gerd Bode, who followed CEO Matthias Müller over from Porsche. In addition, corporate communications head Andreas Lampersbach exited the company in November.

Thul initally joined the Audi brand as head of global product communications in 2004, having previously held several management posts within the automotive industry. In 2008 he moved to Volkswagen group HQ to become head of product communications of the VW brand. In 2011 he added responsibility for coordinating product communications for the entire Volkswagen group.

In 2015, Thul was appointed head of Volkswagen brand communications and press spokesperson for the CEO of the VW brand, Herbert Diess. He became a member of the group's top management circle at the same time. 

"Peter Thul leaves the company by amicable agreement. Together with his team, he played a key role in Volkswagen’s very successful product communications in recent years", said Bode in a statement.

Ohletz joined Volkswagen in 1998, initially taking charge of global communications for production and plants, later also becoming editor-in-chief of group communications and head of internal communications. He was subsequently given responsibility for setting up and leading the group representative office of Volkswagen AG in London, before returning to Wolfsburg as press spokesperson in 2003, where his posts included spokesperson for human resources at the brand and the group.

Ohletz has been a member of the executive team at group communications since 2012, most recently as managing editor. In his new function he reports direct to the CEO of the Volkswagen brand, Herbert Diess.