Simon Thomas has been appointed global heading of marketing for Volkswagen Group AG from September 1.
He has been managing director of the group's UK operation since September 2011. His post remains vacant while a successor is found.
Thomas succeeds Jürgen Stackmann, who became chairman of Seat S.A. on May 1.
In his new role, Thomas will be based at the company’s international headquarters in Wolfsburg, Germany, reporting to the board member for sales and marketing for the Volkswagen Group and the Volkswagen passenger cars brand, Christian Klingler.
Thomas said: ‘It will be tough to leave the VWG UK team after just two years. However, this new role is a great opportunity for me to work at the heart of the Group.
"The UK team has achieved so much and I am very proud to have worked with and supported them.
"During the past two years we have grown sales and market share and made many organisational changes to ensure that we are better equipped to tackle the inevitable future challenges and developments in the automotive industry.
"One in five new vehicles purchased in the UK comes from the Volkswagen Group team; a remarkable achievement."