Currently reading: Mini CEO Stefanie Wurst steps down after two years
Wurst led renewal of Mini line-up, overseeing launches of Cooper, Aceman and Countryman

Mini CEO Stefanie Wurst is leaving the role after just two years, but staying with the BMW Group in a new position. 

She will continue to lead the brand until 1 August, when she will be replaced by Stefan Richmann, who is currently head of the BMW Group's corporate strategy division. Wurst's new role will be announced soon, Autocar understands.

Wurst's shock departure from the CEO chair has been confirmed just two weeks after she was in Beijing to reveal the new Mini Aceman - the third new model introduced under her leadership, joining the new Cooper and Countryman in a completely overhauled line-up. A new Mini five-door hatchback is in the works as the final entrant into this new-look line-up, she recently confirmed. 

The reasons for her exit have not been given. In an official statement, Mini's parent company BMW said: "In recent years, Stefanie Wurst has strategically successfully focused the British premium brand Mini on new markets and target groups, and in particular on electric mobility and digitalisation. 

"She has also developed the international Mini sales organisation into a sustainable and customer-focused sales model and has played a decisive role in the phased introduction of Mini direct sales in China and Europe."

Another highlight of Wurst's time at the helm was the 2023 announcement that Mini's factory in Oxford will build the electric Cooper and Aceman from 2026, which at the time she said was emblematic of the UK's continued importance to Mini.

"To people in the UK, I can still see that Mini is regarded as your baby, because it was born there and has been there for a long time," she said. "We still call Oxford the heart of our brand. I hope and I think we take good care of it. Mini has a very strong heritage, and that is being modernised and given a future now, and I hope that aspect is felt in the UK as well.”

Wurst's replacement Richmann has been with the BMW Group since 1997, serving in various high-ranking roles including CFO of BMW Spain, head of sales controlling and – most recently – leading the corporate strategy division.

Posting on her personal LinkedIn profile, Wurst said: "It’s with a bittersweet heart that I announce my transition from my role as head of Mini.

"As of 1 August, I’ll be passing the torch to Stefan Richmann, who will steer Mini toward new heights. For the next 80 days, we will maintain our focus and stay at full throttle to make the New Mini Family a resounding success."

She said she will now "embark on a new chapter" but did not give any further details.

Felix Page

Felix Page
Title: News and features editor

Felix is Autocar's news editor, responsible for leading the brand's agenda-shaping coverage across all facets of the global automotive industry - both in print and online.

He has interviewed the most powerful and widely respected people in motoring, covered the reveals and launches of today's most important cars, and broken some of the biggest automotive stories of the last few years. 

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