Volkswagen has hired Christine Hohmann-Dennhardt, a compliance officer, away from Daimler. Normally, this wouldn't be particularly big news. The reason you might care is summed up rather succinctly by Ferdinand Dudenhoeffer, director of the Center for Automotive Research at the University of Duisburg-Essen, who said that Hohmann-Dennhardt is being tasked with helping the entire German automobile industry "clean up the collateral damage from the diesel deceit."

Hohmann-Dennhardt had to be released early from her contract with Daimler in order to take on this difficult role with an inter-country rival. VW Chairman Hans Dieter Poetsch thanked "Daimler AG for agreeing to our request to the early termination of Dr. Hohmann-Dennhardt's contract." What makes this move even more interesting is that Daimler and Volkswagen have had a terse relationship in recent years due to the poaching of important employees from one side to the other.

According to Bloomberg, Hohmann-Dennhardt's contract with Daimler had been secured through February of 2017, but with her early release, she will start her new role on VW's board of management in January of 2016. Daimler, for its part, released a statement suggesting the decision was made "in the interests of the good corporate governance of the German automotive industry." Prior to her employment at Daimler, Hohmann-Dennhardt served for 11 years as a judge.

Reading between the lines, it seems VW's massive corporate scandal has rocked the German auto industry to its core. Enough so, in fact, that Daimler would be willing to let go of a highly talented and well-respected executive – the first woman ever appointed to the German automaker's board – who had served since there since 2011. Feel free to read through VW's entire statement, below.

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Dr. Christine Hohmann-Dennhardt to move to Volkswagen AG in 2016 as Board Member for Integrity and Legal Affairs

Daimler AG agrees to move of Board Member for Integrity and Legal Affairs to Volkswagen AG

The Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Volkswagen AG, Hans Dieter Pötsch, has requested the Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Daimler AG, Dr. Manfred Bischoff, to agree to the early termination of the contract with Dr. Christine Hohmann-Dennhardt, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG for Integrity and Legal Affairs, which runs until February 28, 2017. She is to join the Volkswagen Group as of January 1, 2016 as the Board Member for Integrity and Legal Affairs.

Compliance is now firmly anchored at Daimler and in its corporate culture, and in coordination with the Executive Committee of the Supervisory Board, the Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Daimler AG has agreed to this request in the interest of good governance in the German automotive industry.

"We are delighted that Dr. Hohmann-Dennhardt has agreed to take on this responsible task and that we can build on her outstanding competence and experience", the Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Volkswagen AG, Hans Dieter Pötsch, said. "At the same time we would like to thank Daimler AG for agreeing to our request to the early termination of Dr. Hohmann-Dennhardt's contract."

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