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etvfutures.com April 26, 2018


Herbert Diess Joins Volkswagen As New Group CEO

14 April 2018, 11:10 | Cesar Cruz

Volkswagen New Boss Is Herbert Diess

Matthias Muller in the 911 Speedster

Volkswagen said Tuesday it was considering a leadership change at the top and German news media reported that CEO Matthias Mueller would step aside as soon as Friday for Herbert Diess, head of the core Volkswagen brand.

The automaker also moved to replace its human resources director, Karlheinz Blessing, with Gunnar Kilian.

The plans were announced after Volkswagen board of directors ousted Matthias Mueller as CEO and discussed ways to overhaul the company, which spans motorbikes, buses, trucks and passenger auto brands including Ducati, Bentley, Porsche, Audi, Scania and Skoda.

Mueller, who had headed Porsche, took over from Winterkorn when he resigned because of the scandal in September 2015. Lastly, Porsche sports vehicle division head Blume has been promoted to the top management body of the entire organization.

Müller assumed the chairmanship of the Board of Management in the fall of 2015 when Volkswagen faced its greatest challenge in its history.

Under his leadership in 2017, the auto group went on to turn in record annual sales of €230.7bn and pre-tax profits nearly doubled at €13.9bn.

The restructuring is the most extensive undertaken by the company since the diesel emissions scandal three years ago which cost the company more than 20 billion euros.

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Mueller had "signaled he was open to play a part in the changes" in conversations with supervisory board chief Hans Dieter Poetsch, the company said.

But Mueller himself landed in prosecutors' sights over suspicions he may have known about the cheating before it became public and failed in his duty to inform investors.

Mueller followed a course toward a new era of multibillion-dollar investments in electric cars and SUVs, which surprised industry observers who identified VW with its diesel roots and small cars.

"It's right for VW to look in a new direction", judged analyst Juergen Pieper of Metzler bank. Fallout from the scandal has cost VW an estimated $30 billion over the past two years.

Volkswagen has supplanted its CEO with Herbert Diess, who assumes on liability for the whole organization in the wake of managing the VW mark. Diess will be responsible for Group development and research and will also take on additional Group management roles alongside heading the Vehicle IT.

"Diess has no problem making enemies", the Sueddeutsche Zeitung daily wrote, recounting how the "tough-as-nails" executive drove a hard bargain with suppliers as head of purchasing at BMW.

One sign of the overhaul gaining traction is VW entering the home stretch for a potential share sale in its heavy-truck division, the biggest organizational shift since the aftermath of the diesel-emissions crisis.



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