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Personnel shake-ups continue as Volkswagen America CEO leaves to head up Scout EV brand

The game of musical CEO chairs continues on at Volkswagen Group as yet another executive is leaving their current post to lead a different marque. Current president and CEO for Volkswagen Group of America Scott Keogh announced he is stepping down after nearly five years to become CEO of Volkswagen’s new all-electric truck brand, Scout.

Similar news emerged out of Germany earlier today as Volkswagen Group chair and CEO Herbert Diess announced he is stepping down from his position at the company and will be replaced by Porsche AG CEO Oliver Blume.

Blume will still lead the Porsche team but will also take over Diess’s role as the chair of the group board of management. Current Volkswagen Group CFO Arno Antlitz will assume the position of COO and assist Blume in day-to-day operations.

Long before this news, however, shake-ups were already taking place across the pond at Volkswagen Group America, where its CEO also announced he is stepping away, but his next role will remain in the VW family,

Volkswagen Scout
VW South America chair Pablo Di Si (left), outgoing VW Group CEO Herbert Diess (middle) with transitioning CEO Scott Keogh (right)

Scott Keogh to revitalize Volkswagen Scout as an EV brand

Keogh shared his thoughts about his departure from Volkswagen Group of America in a LinkedIn post yesterday, following the official announcement from VW this past Tuesday. Pablo Di Si (seen above), the executive chair of Volkswagen South America, has been appointed president and CEO of Volkswagen Group of America and CEO of Volkswagen North America, replacing Keogh.

Before Diess announced that he too would be exiting (although to where remains unclear), he shared the following words about both Keogh and Di Si:

Scott and Pablo have played key roles in turning around the businesses in North America and South America, respectively. In their future positions, they will be pivotal in seizing the historic market opportunities in the US, taking our growth strategy in the region to the next level.

Volkswagen’s new Scout brand emulates the classic nameplate from the International Harvester Scout – an off-road vehicle from the ’60s and ’70s – but with an all-electric breath of fresh (and nontoxic) air.

Volkswagen’s advisory board approved the brand proposal this past May after nearly a year of media murmurs about its potential rebirth. The sketch images we’ve seen from the brand so far offer a similar feel to off-road EVs like the Rivian R1T pickup, although Scout will likely try to hit the market at a lower price point.

Here’s an excerpt from Keogh’s LinkedIn announcement, where he mentioned his plans for the new Scout brand:

Looking ahead, I’ve accepted the challenge of revitalizing Scout in electric form because it’s a brand worth celebrating. One quick Google search for the original International Harvester Scout, and you’ll find the passion that still exists for this legendary brand from the heartland to the coasts.

Scout Motors will be able to draw on the capabilities and resources of the Volkswagen AG and take its place as an icon among icons. And it will operate with complete independence and autonomy, building a company engineered and designed exclusively for this region.

As an industry and as a nation, I absolutely believe our best days are unquestionably ahead of us, and Scout Motors will reach deep into its past to rise with that new dawn. We will meet it with the same grit and determination that built America from scratch.

Keogh will certainly have his work cut out for him in trying to launch a new brand among a growing list of electrified truck competitors in the segment. However, if there’s one thing Americans especially love, its trucks, so he may feel right at home with his new group of potential consumers.

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