Volkswagen Group CEO to be replaced soon

12 April, 2018, 07:46 | Author: Terri Saunders
  • VW could make change at CEO by end of week as part of management reshuffle

Its complex structure has extended to its main shareholder, Porsche Automobil Holding SE, where Volkswagen's chairman serves as the CEO and Mueller also serves as a top executive.

Further details are emerging over an expected management shake-up at German auto giant Volkswagen AG, ahead of a supervisory board meeting expected on Friday.

In response to the story, the company used a statement overnight to say it is considering "potential further development in the management structure in the Volkswagen Group and potential personnel changes in the Board of Management".

In tapping the 59-year-old Diess for the top job, Volkswagen would elevate a senior executive from its own ranks, while handing the reins to someone who was not at the automaker when the diesel cheating began. Prior to joining VW, Diess was an executive at BMW. The shares jumped as much as 4.7%. As the executive overseeing VW's biggest unit, he routinely butted heads with the powerful labor union as he sought to cut costs and simplify the byzantine structure of the carmaker.

These changes could, according to the company, be personnel changes and changes in the specific responsibilities of management members.

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.

Volkswagen could look to split into four sections - a mass-market carmaker including its VW, Seat and Skoda brands; a premium business consisting of Bentley and Audi (NSUG.DE); a sportscar group including Porsche, Bugatti and Lamborghini; and a commercial vehicle and trucks arm, the sources said.

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The scandal, and Volkswagen's continued vulnerability to it, came into renewed focus after The New York Times reported in January that the company had helped to finance experiments on monkeys in a bungled attempt to show that exhaust from modern diesels was benign.

"A change to the chief executive could be involved", it added.

"If Diess is confirmed as the successor, VW shares will extend their gains", Evercore ISI analyst Arndt Ellinghorst said, who has an "outperform" rating on the stock.

But CEO Matthias Mueller's attempts at reform have often been thwarted by turf wars among the German company's stakeholders and opposition from its labor leaders.

VW could move as soon as Friday to name Herbert Diess, head of its Volkswagen brand, as its new leader.

Volkswagen and the works council declined to comment.

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