Monday, 23 April, 2018

Volkswagen names Herbert Diess as new chief executive

Volkswagen puts Herbert Diess in the driving seat VW Group ousts CEO, names Diess as replacement, announces restructuring
Kenneth Drake | 13 April, 2018, 03:53

Mueller "has done outstanding work for the Volkswagen Group", VW said in a statement.

Volkswagen, the world's biggest carmaker by volume, has been saddled with the fallout of a global diesel emissions scandal that emerged in 2015 and led to multibillion-dollar lawsuits in several countries, in particular in the US.

Herbert Diess, chief of the Volkswagen brand, was named to take over as CEO of the company as a whole.

"The range of tasks at group level, with its many brands, legal risks and political influence, makes the new assignment incomparably more complex", Speich said, adding that there is no guarantee reforms would become easier to push through.

Volkswagen Group has ousted CEO Matthias Müller and replaced him with Herbert Diess, previously CEO of the Volkswagen brand within the larger 12-brand corporation.

The 64-year-old Mr Mueller will be replaced before Volkswagen's annual general meeting on May 3, the Bild newspaper said yesterday. The move is part of an effort to reorganize the company to do business more efficiently, the company said.


Volkswagen, which has a history of rocky management handovers, has chose to replace Matthias Mueller, 64, with the 59-year-old Diess, according to people familiar with the matter, who asked not to be identified speaking ahead of an official announcement.

Diess is a former BMW executive who since 2015 has headed the core Volkswagen brand.

Dieselgate has cost VW more than 25 billion euros ($31 billion) in buybacks, fines and compensation, and the carmaker remains mired in legal woes at home and overseas. "Instead of being squeezed out, he has been pushed upward, and has been made CEO".

VW's statement didn't specify whether the planned changes meant replacing Mr Mueller or simply a shift in responsibilities. But a replacement of the CEO could also signal that some of the primary shareholders and board members are perhaps unhappy with the direction of the company. Porsche sports auto division head Oliver Blume was promoted to the top management body of the entire group.

As head of purchasing at BMW, Diess was instrumental in the luxury-car maker's ability to weather the financial crisis by squeezing more than 4 billion euros out of supply costs.

On Tuesday, Mueller indicated his "basic willingness to play a part" in possible changes in the firm's leadership after a VW press release announced that the company was mulling changes within its top management echelons.

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