Lars Henner Santelmann, who has been the CEO of our company since October 2015, is giving up his position at his own request on January 31, 2022 and will in future be devoting his energies to tasks in the field of environmental and nature conservation. With effect from February 1, 2022, Dr. Christian Dahlheim, a senior manager well known to everyone at VW FS, will take over responsibility as the new CEO.
Mr. Santelmann, who was born in Peine near Hannover, has been a member of the VW FS Management Board since September 2008, initially as Board Member responsible for Sales and Marketing. He was Management Board Spokesman of Volkswagen Leasing GmbH from October 2006 to December 2012 and has been General Representative of Volkswagen Financial Services AG and Volkswagen Bank GmbH since November 2005. Prior to that, Mr. Santelmann was Board Member for Sales at SEAT S.A. and held various executive positions at Volkswagen. Among other posts, he worked for five years as Head of Sales for Southern and Eastern Europe, Africa and the Middle East and was Finance Director for two years at Autogerma SpA in Verona, Italy. He started his Volkswagen career as a trainee in 1988.
Numerous developments and successes at Volkswagen Financial Services are largely due to his influence: his list of achievements includes the successful management of crises like diesel or the pandemic, international restructuring measures like project PANDA, global efficiency programs like OPEX, and the company's progress from one record result to the next, a series unparalleled in the financial services industry.
Back to the VW FS roots
In taking up his new position as CEO, Dr. Dahlheim is returning to his VW FS roots: his career within the Volkswagen Group began in Corporate Development at VW FS AG in January 2005. Between 2008 and 2012, Dr. Dahlheim, who was born in Berlin and is married with three children, held the post of Regional Manager Europe and International, which gave him responsibility for financial services in European and selected overseas markets. In 2012 he moved to the United States as Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of VW Credit, Inc. He was appointed President and CEO of that company in 2014, assuming overall responsibility for the Volkswagen Group's financial services business in North America.
From January 1, 2016 until September 2018, Dr. Christian Dahlheim served as Member of the Management Board of Volkswagen Financial Services AG with responsibility for Sales and Marketing. He has been Head of Group Sales at Volkswagen AG since October 2018.
The Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Volkswagen Financial Services AG, Dr. Arno Antlitz, thanked Mr. Santelmann for his many years of service to the financial services group. He has played a key role in its evolution, the Chairman said, singling out the organizational realignment and the focus on a new direct and digital business model among Mr. Santelmann's particular achievements. With Dr. Christian Dahlheim at the helm with his expertise in sales and financial services, Dr. Antlitz is certain that Volkswagen Financial Services will continue along their eminently successful path.