John Newman (Ph.D.)

Head of Digitalization, Audi AG

Audi’s Digitalization Strategy

Audi’s corporate strategy focuses on three major trends: sustainability, urban mobility and digitalization. The vision for digitalization is to make premium mobility in all its aspects effortless: from buying a car, through owning and using it, to reselling it. Audi has selected seven areas across the value chain on which to focus, using lessons from successful digital companies to establish a distinctive value proposition and enable rapid progress.

In his lecture, John will describe the development of Audi’s digitalization strategy, and how it is being implemented. Specifically, he will describe the major profit pools that the company is focused on. Separately, he will describe four main “guardrails” that the company is using to guide its digitalization efforts, with a particular emphasis on using digitalization to achieve greater simplicity.


John Newman was born in the United States. After graduating with a Bachelor of Science with special honors from the University of Chicago, he received his doctorate degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Here he was supported by a scholarship from the National Science Foundation, the state sponsorship program for fundamental research and education in the USA. In 2006, he completed his post-doctoral research at the University of California, San Francisco.

In the same year, John started his career at the management consulting firm McKinsey & Company in the San Francisco Office. He worked across the United States, Asia and Europe, where he provided creative and pragmatic advice to senior automotive and advanced-industry executives. His work focused on how to identify and capture new business opportunities, for example related to highly automated driving, advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) and connected cars.

After a decade at McKinsey & Company, John joined AUDI AG in 2016 as the Head of Digitalization, where he is responsible for Audi’s Digitalization Strategy. His department is focused on achieving significant profit from digital products and services.