The new bigwig at BMW

The impending retirement of Burkhard Goeschel as head of BMW's research and development means that Dr Mario Theissen will now have to answer to a new boss about the company's Formula 1 programme.

Theissen (53) will now have to report to Klaus Draeger (49). A PhD in engineering from the Universitat Karlsruhe, Draeger joined BMW in the autumn of 1985 before a period in quality control. In 1991 he moved into materials development, overseeing the buying in a number of areas, including motorsport. After two years as head of purchasing for special models, he was posted to BMW South Africa in 1996 as head of purchasing before returning to Germany in 2000 to oversee purchasing for vehicle interiors. In 2002, however, he went back to pure engineering as head of the company's automobile body development division and in 2004 was made the director of the large model series.

Later this year he will take up his position as board member in charge of research, development and purchasing.

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