Wednesday, 25 April, 2018

Volkswagen appoints Herbert Diess as CEO

Porsche 911 Speedster Volkswagen appoints Herbert Diess as CEO
Preston Stone | 14 April, 2018, 23:08

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.

Gunnar Kilian, from the company's works council, becomes group head of human resources, succeeding Karlheinz Blessing, who will be available as a consultant until his contract expires.

The company makes mass-market cars under the Volkswagen, SEAT and Skoda brands, luxury cars under the Audi nameplate and very high-priced vehicles under the Lamborghini and Bentley brands.

Diess, a former BMW AG executive, has had the hard task of negotiating restructuring and cost-cutting with German worker representatives since becoming head of the Volkswagen brand in 2015.

Also, the CEO of Porsche, Oliver Blume, will join the fundamental VW board. The executive and supervisory boards "have resolved to extensively revise the group's management structure", VW said.

The company did not detail the fifth and sixth business divisions ahead of a news conference scheduled for 10:30am yesterday.

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.

Kathua rape-murder: Mehbooba Mufti seeks fast track court, sacks accused cops
However, several lawyers had stopped the police from registering cases against the accused in the case. The girl was kidnapped on January 10 and her body was found on January 17.

Longtime CEO Winterkorn quit days after the firm admitted to installing software in 11 million diesel vehicles worldwide created to cheat regulatory emissions tests in a scandal that became known as "dieselgate".

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. Inquiries about the diesel VW scandal is still going on.

Dieselgate has so far 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.

Shares in Volkswagen were up 0.7 percent to 177.88 euros by 1415 GMT, against a similar rise for the STOXX 600 automotive index.

The move is part of sweeping changes announced by the German company, which also owns several other brands including Audi and Porsche.

Volkswagen has supplanted its CEO with Herbert Diess, who assumes on liability for the whole organization in the wake of managing the VW mark.

"There have been historic episodes where cost cutters have been brought in to sort out the namesake VW brand, but who then leave or are squeezed out before their work is really done", Sanford Bernstein analyst Max Warburton wrote in a note. He helped steer the company out of its diesel emissions scandal and into a new era of investment in electric cars.

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