Volkswagen Group appoints new CEO

VW Jetta GLI Rendering Shows The Affordable Sports Sedan We're Waiting For

VW Jetta GLI Rendering Shows The Affordable Sports Sedan We're Waiting For

Several other executives were replaced as VW revealed a new management structure it says will enable faster decision making at a time when autonomous and electric cars are starting to transform the industry.

As an outsider who didn't come up through the Volkswagen ranks as did Mueller, Diess must master the company's unique and sometimes unwieldy corporate culture, which includes a major government stakeholder in the state of Lower Saxony and strong employee representation that has tended to hinder cost-cutting.

The change in CEO is part of a wider management shake-up for the VW Group whose 12 brands include Audi, Bentley, Bugatti, Lamborghini, Porsche, SEAT and Skoda.

CEO Matthias Mueller will resign his post and will be succeeded by Herbert Diess, who had been serving as CEO of the VW brand and has gained a reputation for cost-cutting at the sprawling company. "Matthias Muller has laid the groundwork for our transformation", Diess said in the release.

Besides, Volkswagen plans to organize the group into 6 new business areas including a separate China region.

VW will tighten leadership duties within the group and empower the heads of the three vehicle categories to take on company-wide responsibilities. "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 promised to push on with "cultural change" in the company that suffered its deepest crisis when it had to admit in 2015 that it installed software in 11 million diesel vehicles worldwide to cheat on emissions test.

The carmaker remains mired in legal woes overseas and in its home market, where it also faces possible diesel bans in some smog-clogged inner cities, a prospect that has already depressed resale prices to the chagrin of millions of owners of diesel vehicles.

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.

Porsche sports vehicle division head Oliver Blume was promoted to the top management body of the entire group. German prosecutors suspected him and the head of the Supervisory Board of the company Dieter PECs and former Chairman of the Board Martin Winterkorn in manipulations on the stock market.

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