MUNICH: BMW has taken on Peik von Bestenbostel as global head of group communications, replacing incumbent Axel Obermueller.
Von Bestenbostel joins the German car giant from telecoms firm VIAG Interkom, where as director of corporate communications for the last three years he launched and managed the company's entire communications team.
Former BMW communications chief Obermueller stepped down from the post due to ill health, but is said to be on the road to recovery and set to return to BMW in a different role.
Reporting to group divisions manager for corporate affairs, Richard Gaul, von Bestenbostel has been tasked with heading worldwide communications, specifically German and international business and financial media relations, investor relations and internal communications.
He starts later this month and will head a team of around 25 PROs.
Von Bestenbostel said: 'I've been with VIAG for nearly four years and we have achieved many positive results and a substantial share of voice in the German media. But I'm ready for a next step and to take on another responsibility and welcome the opportunity to return to BMW.'
He previously worked as a spokesman in the BMW corporate affairs headquarters from 1995 to 1997.
At VIAG, which is one of Germany's four leading telecoms firms, von Bestenbostel's successor has yet to be announced. It is believed the new corporate communications chief comes from a major German publication.
Last summer, BMW's corporate communications division in Munich took over responsibility for the group's political contact offices in Berlin, Brussels, London and Washington in addition to existing external and internal communications.
BMW is introducing the latest Mini in July this year and plans to add the Rolls Royce brand to its stable in 2003.
Following the sale of Rover and Land Rover, BMW bosses have confirmed they now intend to keep the firm independent, with targets to grow internationally and invest further in research and development.