Tina Mueller, Opel’s high-visibility marketing chief, is leaving the company just a few months after France’s PSA Group finalized its takeover of the German car brand.
Mueller, 49, will return to her industry roots and become CEO of German beauty care products group Douglas, effective November 1. Before joining Opel in 2013, she worked for 20 years in the beauty care industry, most recently at consumer products group Henkel and earlier at L’Oreal and Wella.
During her years at Opel Mueller worked closely with CEO Karl-Thomas Neumann to improve the brand’s lackluster image. She developed an edgy, new advertising campaign and boosted Opel’s standing by making well-know soccer coach Juergen Klopp the brand’s unofficial spokesman.
But despite a steady improvement in image, product quality and sales, Opel has continued to lose money. That was a major reason for parent General Motors’ decision to sell the brand to PSA.
A cornerstone of Opel’s recent strategy has been the deployment of GM’s OnStar connectivity suite. Opel cars are sold with OnStar and this will continue to be the case now that PSA owns the brand. It is unclear whether OnStar will also be part of the Opel offering in the longer term.
Opel sales boss Peter Kuespert will in future head the brand’s marketing, together with sales and aftermarket. Marketing will, thus, no longer be a separate division.
Kuespert has been in his sales role since November 2013. Earlier he worked at supplier Johann Hay and spent 19 years in various roles at premium car group Daimler.
PSA completed its purchase of Opel in August. CEO Neumann left the company in June.