Mercedes CTO Sajjad Khan resigns to start venture capital fund

BERLIN – Mercedes-Benz chief technology officer Sajjad Khan will leave the brand to create a tech venture capital fund, the company said in a statement.

Khan, who is leaving at his own request, will leave on September 1.

The automaker said Khan’s replacement Magnus Östberg will take overall responsibility for the MB.OS vehicle operating system as director of software, effective September 1.

Khan, a Automotive news Europe Eurostar 2019, was responsible for the CASE (Connected, Autonomous, Sharing / Services, Electric) organization of the car manufacturer. He was also the main force behind the company’s MBUX user interface software and heavily involved in the development of the hyperscreen touchscreen for the flagship Mercedes EQS sedan.

“Sajjad Khan has decisively advanced digitization at Mercedes-Benz and has significantly shaped the product portfolio,” Daimler Supervisory Board Chairman Bernd Pischetsrieder said in the statement. “With MBUX, he created a system that sets a new benchmark in the automotive industry.”

From 2011 to 2015, Khan worked for BMW, where he eventually became Vice President, responsible for the Connected Drive system worldwide. He took responsibility for Digital Vehicle and Mobility as Vice President of Daimler in 2015, starting as CTO of CASE in 2017.

Östberg began his career in the automotive industry with technical and software consultancy firm Mecel, then held managerial positions at Delphi in Germany and the United States, focusing on vehicle software, l infotainment and telematics.

Most recently, the Swedish-born executive was vice president of software platform and systems at supplier Aptiv in the United States.

“With MB.OS we have made a clear strategic decision for the future of Mercedes-Benz: to apply our own software platform for our vehicles, for which we are currently creating a specific software station to bring together responsibility for all developments. associated. tasks, ”Daimler CEO Ola Kaellenius said in the statement.

“Magnus Östberg is a perfect fit for this role and I look forward to working with him very much.”

Mercedes also announced that R&D activities will be realigned as part of the company’s all-electric development and merged into the department of Markus Schäfer, Mercedes COO and member of Daimler’s board of directors for group research.

Khan’s sudden departure was greeted as a surprise in the business press, with the German trade publication Handlesblatt calling Khan a “pioneer” and noting that his sudden departure comes amid massive restructuring.

Kaellenius’ statement acknowledged that Khan had laid the groundwork for MB.OS with his “technological expertise, strategic foresight and an excellent team,” and noted that Mercedes would serve as an angel investor in his new venture.

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