Bugatti CEO Stephan Winkelmann will take on the additional role of CEO of Lamborghini starting December 1, the automakers announced Wednesday in a joint post.
Winkelmann, who ran Lamborghini between 2005 and 2016, will replace the Italian firm's current CEO, Stefano Domenicali, who is leaving to become CEO of Formula One in 2021.
“It is both a great honor and pleasure, but also a great challenge for me to manage these two companies, which are very special to me with their exceptional cars,” Winkelmann said in a statement.
During his tenure at Bugatti, Winkelmann oversaw the rollout of the Chiron, as well as various limited-edition models, including the Divo, EB110-inspired Centodieci, and track-focused Chiron Pur Sport. However, he has been unable to achieve a goal of adding a second Bugatti model line, at least thus far.
Interestingly, Winkelmann's return to Lamborghini fits with recent murmurings that the Volkswagen Group, parent to both Bugatti and Lamborghini, is considering selling the former to Rimac. In exchange, VW Group-owned Porsche would reportedly be allowed to purchase a larger stake in the EV technology company. Rimac sells small numbers of its own electric hypercars, inviting the possibility of electric Bugattis should the deal be completed. Rimac also provides consulting services for other automakers.
Winkelmann's return to Lamborghini could also be a prelude to a possible spin-off of the brand, together with fellow Italian VW Group subsidiaries Ducati and Italdesign. VW Group CEO Herbert Diess told Reuters in an interview published Monday that the automaker is looking to establish a new legal structure in Italy that will hold the brands, a move that would make it easier for a potential sale or initial public offering down the road.