Volkswagen names new chief executive in boardroom revamp

Darnell Taylor
April 13, 2018

The company said in a statement that it would group all its brands and management functions into six broad business areas plus China.

"Diess is a man of action, he is the most plausible choice at VW to lead the group into the next phase of its transformation", said Nord LB analyst Frank Schwope, who has a "buy" rating on Volkswagen.

The realignment focuses power in Diess' hands, as he will continue to oversee the namesake division. Rupert Stadler, CEO of luxury division Audi will take charge of group sales. Its brands will be split into vehicle groups for Volume, Premium, and Super Premium nameplates.

Volkswagen's supervisory board wants to reorganise the way passenger auto brands, trucks and buses are grouped, in a bid to increase its development and engineering synergies and improve the German carmaker's competitiveness. Excessive spending and poor budget discipline were eroding profit margins even before the carmaker's diesel-emissions scandal erupted in September 2015.

"The Volkswagen Group's goal is and remains to align the Company and its brands with future needs, to safeguard its position among the leaders of the worldwide automotive industry with innovativeness and profitability, and to be instrumental in shaping tomorrow's personal mobility with the strength of our Group brands", said Chairman of the Supervisory Board, Hans Dieter Pötsch.

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That goes for fake news, foreign interference in elections and hate speech , as well as developers and data privacy, he said. But they also gave the app access to data from their friends, who did not directly consent to the terms of the app.


One sign of the overhaul gaining traction is VW entering the home stretch for a potential share sale in its heavy-truck division, the biggest organizational shift since the aftermath of the diesel-emissions crisis. That project became much more urgent as the diesel scandal generated massive costs and meant taking on established interest groups. The scandal has cost the company over $30 billion. "Instead of being squeezed out, he has been pushed upward and has been made CEO".

Oliver Blume, head of sports vehicle brand Porsche and newly appointed to the group executive board, will oversee production at the multi-brand organization, VW said, confirming a Reuters report.

Purchasing chief Francisco Javier Garcia Sanz, the longest-serving top executive at VW, will leave the company, the carmaker said. Diess joined from BMW in 2015 with a reputation for driving change. That spurred his move to Volkswagen.

It said the result of the talks was "currently open" and that Mueller "showed his willingness to contribute" to the changes.

The supervisory board plans a press briefing April 13 to outline its strategy.

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