Mario Theissen is to leave his position as the head of BMW Motorsport, having been involved with the marque since 1977.
Having initially worked as a development engineer, Theissen has held the position of motorsport chief for more than twelve years, with his time in charge including the period spent by the German manufacturer in F1 – firstly with the Williams team and then with its own outfit after the purchase of Sauber.
Theissen will be replaced by former Toyota general manager of business development Jens Marquardt, who will join BMW on 1 January.
The pair will work together for the first six months of 2011 to ensure Marquardt is able to familiarise himself with his new role, which will include preparing for BMW's entry into the DTM in 2012.
“We have planned and prepared this changeover very carefully,” Theissen said. “With the realignment of BMW Motorsport and the decision in favour of the DTM project, the path to a successful future on the race track has been mapped out. Now is also the best time to entrust the leadership of BMW Motorsport to new hands.
“I have no doubt that in Jens Marquardt we have found the right man for this exciting task and I look forward to our time working together. On 1 July 2011 he will be perfectly equipped to take over the reins.”