Saturday, 15 December, 2018

Volkswagen to replace CEO Matthias Mueller with VW brand chief Herbert Diess

As Diesel Scandal Fades, VW Is Planning to Replace Its CEO Volkswagen flags potential major management changes
| 11 April, 2018, 17:02

Chairman Hans Dieter Poetsch is leading the process and Mueller has "showed his general willingness to contribute to the changes", the company said in a statement.

In a statement, the automaker confirmed it was exploring options to reshuffle its management that "could also include a change in the position of the chairman of the Board of Management", which is the German term for CEO.

According to German newspaper Handelsblatt, which first reported the shakeup, Muller is to be replaced by Herbert Diess, who now heads up the Volkswagen brand.

Mr Mueller, a former Porsche boss, replaced Martin Winterkorn, who stepped down as the diesel scandal rocked the automotive industry.

Volkswagen owns several brands including Audi, Porsche and Skoda.

Shares in Volkswagen surged in Tuesday afternoon trading, adding as much as five percent on the day before paring their gains to around 4.0 per cent at a price of 170.84 euros around 3:30 p.m. (1330 GMT).


Handelsblatt said the company's supervisory board could make its decision at a meeting on Friday.

Despite facing billions in fines, vehicle refits and lawsuits relating to its "dieselgate" scandal, Volkswagen's operating results have been robust under Mueller's watch, with sales and profit hitting record highs past year.

But the persistent tug of war between its controlling families, unions and other stakeholders have made it hard to drive through structural changes that investors have said are key to the company fulfilling its potential.

The VW cars with 2-liter diesels would meet emissions standards tests in a laboratory or testing station, but in normal operation, they emit nitrogen oxides at up to 40 times the standard, according to the EPA.

Mueller's likely departure comes two days after Deutsche Bank DBKGn.DE , another pillar of corporate Germany, dismissed its chief executive, John Cryan, in pursuit of a more rapid turnaround following years of losses. No further information was made available with regards to the precise fate of acting CEO Matthias Mueller.

Diess was regarded as a potential future CEO when he joined Volkswagen in July 2015 after serving as head of vehicle development for BMW. A veteran of the company, he had previously served as head of Porsche. The works council, whose members occupy half the seats on the supervisory board, also declined comment.

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