Mercury Marine vice president of research and development Claus Bruestle announced he will leave the company next month to return to his homeland of Germany.
Bruestle led the company's development of the supercharged production-model outboard engine and reestablished the company's engineering division as an industry leader.
Bruestle came to Mercury five years ago after heading up high-performance engine development for Porsche. Next month, he will be become head of engineering for a major automotive engine supplier in southern Germany.
"I hate to leave," Bruestle said in a statement. "I truly loved this job and wanted to retire from here. That was my plan. But changes in my family circumstances demand that I return to Germany."
"Under Claus' leadership, Mercury's research and development department was reorganized, while working to complete the most important overhaul of Mercury's outboard product lineup in the company's history," Patrick C. Mackey, president of Mercury Marine, said in a statement.
In 2003, Mercury had virtually no four-stroke market share, according to the company. Mercury's Verado outboard engine line was introduced in 2004. It has been expanded and includes 2.5-hp to 300-hp outboards.
Mercury Marine, headquartered in Fond du Lac, Wis., is a $2.3-billion division of Brunswick Corp.