State Releases Plan for Phase 1 of Volkswagen Settlement Money
15 April, 2018, 01:06
Volkswagen is going to hold a meeting of its supervisory board on Thursday to make decision on a new chief executive, bringing forward the meeting that was earlier planned for Friday, a source with information of the matter said.
"It is unclear how soon Diess, a former BMW executive who joined VW in July 2015 and has clashed with the company's labor leaders, might replace Mueller".
Key stakeholders came to the conclusion they couldn't afford to wait two years until Mr Mueller's contract expired to appoint a fresh CEO, as they deliberated an overhaul that will likely include an IPO of the heavy trucks division and how to most rapidly implement those changes, said the people, asking not to be identified discussing the private talks.
Diess, a former BMW executive, has had the hard task of negotiating restructuring and cost-cutting with German worker representatives since becoming head of the Volkswagen brand in 2015.
Volkswagen and the works council declined to comment. As VW's chief executive officer, "conflict will be part of the program".
While the timing of the handover seems somewhat counterintuitive - VW is financially on the mend and has defended its status as the industry No. 1 - Mueller had at times shown signs of fatigue.
Predecessor Martin Winterkorn fell victim to the company's scandal over cars rigged to cheat on diesel emissions tests. Today the company issued a statement thanking Müller for his time during what it referred to as "the greatest challenge in its history".
After-tax profit rose to 11.6 billion euros ($14.3 billion) a year ago, on sales of 230.6 billion euros.
Mueller, 64, was head of Volkswagen's richly profitable Porsche division when he unexpectedly was handed the CEO job in September 2015.
Volkswagen is similar to other large companies in Germany, which, under a policy known as co-determination, or Mitbestimmung, requires supervisory boards to grant equal representation to workers and members elected by shareholders. Matthias Mueller steps down as chairman of the board of management by mutual agreement, effective immediately. Porsche sports auto division head Oliver Blume was promoted to the top management body of the entire group.
Volkswagen's efforts to reform have often been stifled by powerful labor unions who command half of the seats on the board of directors, and the German state of Lower Saxony, which controls a 20 percent voting stake.
The potential restructuring was first reported by German magazine Der Spiegel.
Even more impressive is the fact that the company remains profitable despite the millions in fines, hundreds of thousands of cars recalled and the drop in sales across European markets.
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