Volkswagen Sacks CEO Matthias Muller

Darnell Taylor
April 13, 2018

In Europe, the scandal dealt a serious blow to sales of cars with diesel engines, as the heightened scrutiny revealed that other manufacturers also sold cars that polluted far more during regular driving than during testing, although not necessarily using the same illegal methods that Volkswagen did. Chairman of the Supervisory Board Hans Dieter Petch thanked Mueller and called his work "outstanding".

"It's about continued development, not a revolution", said Herbert Diess, the 59-year-old Austrian who took over late Thursday from Matthias Mueller, 64, as CEO of one of the world's largest automobile groups. He replaces Matthias Muller who recently stepped down from the post.

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.

Mueller, who formerly headed Porsche, took over as CEO unexpectedly in September 2015 when Martin Winterkorn resigned over the company's scandal over cars rigged to cheat on emissions tests.

As CEO, Diess will also be responsible for the company's mass market brands Volkswagen, SEAT and Skoda, as well as digital services and vehicle software.

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Under the plans, announced on Thursday, Volkswagen will divide itself into six new business areas, plus a portfolio for China, as part of an effort to decentralize responsibility and improve efficiency.

The new structure will include three brand groups: volume products, premium and super premium.

Diess described the "most important task" ahead for himself and the German corporate titan as "pushing forward our evolution into a profitable, world-leading provider of sustainable mobility".

"Herbert Diess is the right manager to do that", Poetsch said, praising "the speed and rigour with which he can implement radical transformation processes". Prior to this, the company admitted that it had used devices to the skew results on U.S. emission tests. Inquiries about the diesel VW scandal is still going on. Volkswagen's truck division is also set to go public in early 2019 and has recently entered into a partnership with Toyota's truck maker, Hino, to create economies of scale throughout its business.

The automaker also moved to replace its human resources director, Karlheinz Blessing, with Gunnar Kilian. 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.

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