While the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas is best known as an annual excuse to marvel at outlandish gadgets, Dirk Hilgenberg, head of Volkswagen AG’s software unit, came to this year’s show in early January looking for a different kind of tech product: software engineers.
The 58-year-old German auto executive turned his CES booth, a colorful stack of shipping containers, into a makeshift hiring hall with the words “JOIN US” emblazoned across the side. His unit, dubbed Cariad, has quintupled its headcount, to about 6,600, since its formation in July 2020, and Hilgenberg is hoping to hire an additional 1,700 people this year. To lure attractive candidates, he’s taken a liberal approach to remote work and made English Cariad’s de facto language—a concession for an automotive behemoth built on proud German engineering.
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