Published: Fri, April 13, 2018
Finance | By Gustavo Carr

Volkswagen's Diess goes from lame duck to top dog in two years

Volkswagen's Diess goes from lame duck to top dog in two years

"The Volkswagen group is considering further evolving the leadership structure, which could be connected with changes in the board. a change to the chief executive could be involved", VW said in a statement.

Despite facing billions in fines, vehicle refits and lawsuits relating to its "dieselgate" scandal, Volkswagen's operating results have been robust under Mr Mueller's watch, with sales and profit hitting record highs past year. It said the new structure would streamline decision-making in the individual operating units as the company deals with a rapidly shifting business environment.

Herbert Diess, the designated chief executive officer (CEO) of German carmaker Volkswagen, wants to increase the corporate powers associated with his new position, the magazine "SPIEGEL" reported on Wednesday.

Reuters reports that Diess and Mueller agreed to guarantee VW's manufacturing jobs in Germany until 2025 in order to get approval from the unions for a plan to turn the carmaker into a mass producer of electric cars.

Such an overhaul would be part of a wider auto industry trend towards spin-offs as companies aim to become more nimble and efficient to cope with rapid changes such as the rise of electric vehicles and autonomous driving.

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German vehicle giant Volkswagen is set to replace its chief executive Matthias Mueller Thursday, as it struggles to move on from the "dieselgate" emissions scandal that has mired the company since 2015.

Mueller held the top job for more than 2½ years after succeeding CEO Martin Winterkorn, who was ousted days after the company's diesel pollution scandal was exposed in September 2015. The total cost to the company from the scandal is now near $30 billion. He has been in charge of the core VW brand since 2015. "Instead of being squeezed out, he has been pushed upward, and has been made CEO".

Volkswagen's (VW) supervisory board will on Friday replace personnel chief Karlheinz Blessing with Gunnar Kilian, managing director of the carmaker's works council who works directly under labor boss Bernd Osterloh, four sources close to VW told Reuters.

The company also is replacing its heads of human resources and purchasing. He and Oliver Blume, the 49-year-old head of the Porsche brand, will join the group's management board.

As head of purchasing at BMW, Diess was instrumental in the luxury-car maker's ability to weather the financial crisis by squeezing more than 4 billion euros out of supply costs.

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