Volkswagen Set To Promote Diess To Replace Mueller As Boss In Shake-Up
Volkswagen Set To Promote Diess To Replace Mueller As Boss In Shake-Up
Herbert Diess with the Volkswagen I.D. Vizzion concept at the Geneva Motor Show 2018
11 April, 2018, 00:37
Volkswagen has said chief executive Matthias Mueller could be replaced as part of a management shake-up.
The German carmaker said on Tuesday it was considering a change in leadership as part of a broader management overhaul, but gave few details.
Last month, Mueller said that chief executives of big companies deserved high pay because "one always has one foot in jail".
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".
The change will be discussed at a supervisory board meeting on Friday, said the people, who asked not to be identified speaking ahead of an official announcement.
Volkswagen is controlled by the Piech and Porsche families, which have 52 per cent of voting rights.
"Volkswagen is considering a further development of the management structure of the group which would also be associated with personnel changes in the board of management", the company said in a short statement.
Shares in Volkswagen jumped on the news, and closed up 4.5 percent at 171.58 euros.
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After-tax profit rose to 11.6 billion euros (US$14.3 billion) a year ago, on sales of 230.6 billion euros.
But the persistent tug of war between its controlling families, unions and other stakeholders have made it hard to drive through structural changes that investors have said are key to the company fulfilling its potential. "It has been apparent to us that the VW Group CEO didn't particularly enjoy his job", Evercore ISI analyst Arndt Ellinghorst said in a research note.
Germany's dpa news agency, Handelsblatt business publication and national daily newspaper Bild reported that Mueller would be replaced by Diess, a former BMW executive who joined Volkswagen in 2015.
The company's supervisory board chairman, Hans Dieter Pötsch, is said to be in discussions with other board members and executives to decide who will be affected by the leadership changes.
Representatives of Porsche and the German state of Lower Saxony, VW's two largest shareholders, weren't immediately available for comment.
He apologized for the scandal and launched what was described as an effort to make the company's management more open to discussion and less top-down, factors that may have abetted the emissions cheating.
Volkswagen declined to comment on whether the board was poised to name Diess as new CEO.
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