Volkswagen names new chief executive in boardroom revamp

13 April 2018, 02:07 | Andres Norman

Volkswagen Lavida Plus

Volkswagen Lavida Plus

It said the new structure would streamline decision-making in the individual operating units.

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.

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. The company sold 10.74 million vehicles and made 11.6 billion euros ($14.3 billion) in profit.

Shares in Volkswagen spiked earlier this week after the company said it was considering management changes. Its brands will be split into vehicle groups for Volume, Premium, and Super Premium nameplates. "In a phase of profound upheaval in the automotive industry, it is vital for Volkswagen to pick up speed and make an unmistakable mark in e-mobility, the digitalization of the automobile and transportation as well as new mobility services", Diess said.

Diess was the subject of speculation as a possible successor to Winterkorn when he arrived at Volkswagen from BMW less than three months before Winterkorn's sudden departure left the company needing a new CEO in a hurry.

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However Ingo Speich, a fund manager at Union Investment which holds about 0.6 percent of Volkswagen preference shares, anxious that running a group with around 640,000 employees at over 120 plants worldwide could prove tough for Diess, who has a reputation for micro-management. It said the head of purchasing, Francisco Javier Garcia Sanz, was leaving at his own request and that his post would be filled on an acting basis by Volkswagen brand purchasing head Ralf Brandstaetter.

Kilian, who works directly under labour boss Bernd Osterloh, will replace personnel chief Karlheinz Blessing, the sources said, giving workers representatives a direct say on strategy and cost cutting.

Oliver Blume, CEO of Porsche, joins the Group Board of Management, and takes on the responsibility for group production.

Volkswagen's efforts to reform have often been stifled by powerful labor unions who command half of the seats on the board of directors, and the German state of Lower Saxony, which controls a 20 percent voting stake.



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