Treatment for long Covid: Audi boss withdraws for a long time

Treatment for long covid
Audi boss is withdrawing for a long time

Audi boss Duesmann has to take a break due to the long-term consequences of a corona illness. He leaves a void in the Volkswagen Group. Alongside Volkswagen boss Diess, Duesmann is considered to be a central figure who is strongly driving the transformation process into e-mobility.

Audi boss Markus Duesmann is putting his work on hold due to the long-term effects of a corona illness in order to undergo rehab treatment. Several media report this unanimously. The business portal Business Insider reported first.

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The 52-year-old Duesmann fell ill with corona a few months ago, and in the meantime he also had to be treated in hospital. So far, he has not properly recovered from the virus. According to Business Insider, he has been in a special clinic for a cure since last Monday. VW supervisory board chairman Hans Dieter Pötsch and CEO Herbert Diess is said to have informed Duesmann of his break a few days ago.

The Audi boss is the first manager in whom a so-called long Covid disease becomes public. Citing company information, it is said that it was a break of several weeks and that the rehabilitation therapy was planned for two to three weeks. After the summer break, the Duesmann wanted to get back to work.

According to the Federal Ministry of Research, every tenth person who falls ill with corona struggles with long-term consequences after surviving the virus infection. There are currently over 350,000 people in Germany who suffer from this new long-covid disease. It not only affects people who have had severe courses, but also those with minor symptoms of a corona infection. The fact that there are different symptoms with Long-Covid makes fighting the disease difficult.

Doctors have little to offer

According to Stefan Schreiber, the internationally sought-after specialist for inflammatory diseases and head of internal medicine I at the University Hospital in Kiel, more long-covid patients can be expected in the coming months. Overall, there are more cases than with some common diseases, he took stock a few weeks ago. A total of 10 to 15 percent of Covid 19 sufferers suffered from this new clinical picture with significant symptoms.

Experts report persistent tiredness, exhaustion, listlessness, as well as shortness of breath, shortness of breath or constant coughing. In addition, those affected also complain of reduced ability to concentrate or memory loss or even depression.

Research is currently at the beginning of how to combat the consequences of the disease, said Schreiber. Regarding possible forms of therapy, he admitted: “We have few answers about what we can offer.” Quite a few people suffered so badly from the post-Covid syndrome that they could no longer work.

Duesmann’s illness already creates a gap that makes one sit up and take notice. The Audi boss is seen as a central figure in the transformation of Volkswagen. In addition to CEO Herbert Diess, he is one of the largest innovators in the group who is strongly promoting the transition to e-mobility and autonomous driving. He is responsible for the development and research division in the entire group.

The supervisory board is not looking for a replacement

Just this week, the Audi boss presented his plans for the super platform SSP for all VW brands as well as his Tesla hunter project Artemis at the presentation of the Volkswagen Group Strategy 2030 via video recording. Duesmann also outlined how he intends to advance the technical lead at VW subsidiary Audi. It is not known how Volkswagen intends to close the gap and whether an interim boss may be sought behind the scenes.

Volkswagen officially signaled understanding for Duesmann’s time-out: “I can see that he is not the old Markus Duesmann yet, but above all he is probably not living up to his own standards. He will be missing every day,” the Business Insider portal quotes a top manager . Replacing Duesmann does not seem to be an issue at the moment. The VW supervisory board is not looking for a permanent replacement for the Audi boss, insiders are quoted as saying.

At the same time, it remains an open question whether and when Duesmann will be back in shape to fulfill his strenuous managerial tasks. He has been Chairman of the Board of Management at Audi for just over a year: The former BMW manager joined Volkswagen on April 1, 2020.