Volkswagen Set To Promote Diess To Replace Mueller As Boss In Shake-Up
11 April, 2018, 08:09 | Author: Jeannette Greene
In the aftermath of the diesel-cheating scandal, Volkswagen has been pushing to overhaul its rigid top-down management structure, delegating more responsibility to its brand and regional chiefs. Porsche said in a separate release that any changes at VW would be reflected in its management. No further information was made available with regards to the precise fate of acting CEO Matthias Mueller. Mr. Matthias Müller showed his general willingness to contribute to the changes.
Business newspaper Handelsblatt and national news agency DPA reported Herbert Diess, head of the VW brand - one of the group's 12 makes of cars, trucks and motorbikes - was slated to take Mueller's place.
"It is now open whether the considerations and discussions will lead to a further development of the management structure or to personnel changes", VW said in the statement.
Shares in Volkswagen, which also owns the Bentley, Bugatti, Lamborghini, Skoda, Audi and Porsche brands, jumped on the news, and were up 4.3 percent at 171.24 euros at 1520 GMT.
Chairman Hans Dieter Poetsch is now in talks about changing the structure with fellow supervisory board members and members of the management board, VW said.
The move comes after Europe's largest automaker has been hampered by infighting among its powerful stakeholders, which include the Porsche and Piech families, the German state of Lower Saxony, and labour leaders.
Longtime CEO Winterkorn quit after the firm admitted in 2015 to manipulating 11 million diesel vehicles worldwide to cheat regulatory emissions tests in a scandal that became known as "dieselgate".
It is unclear how soon Diess, a former BMW executive who joined VW in July 2015, would replace Mueller.
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 previous year.
"A change to the chief executive could be involved", it added.
While not yet officially confirmed, the rumors regarding Diess replacing Mueller come from well-informed sources within the company, according to Reuters. The supervisory board will reportedly vote on the change in top leadership at a meeting on Friday. But when Winterkorn fell, he had only been with the company for less than three months.
Volkswagen chose not to comment on Handelsblatt's information.
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