VW replaces CEO Matthias Mueller amid group restructure

Volkswagen appoints Herbert Diess as CEO

Volkswagen appoints Herbert Diess as CEO

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 Killan, formerly secretary-general of the VW Group Works Council, has been named to the Group Board of Management for Human Resources.

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.

He was made head of production planning at the Volkswagen brand in 2009 and became the member of the executive board for production and logistics at Porsche in 2013. Apart from this, Oliver Blume, Porsche CEO will be joined to the group Board of Management.

Volkswagen replaced Mr Mueller after he failed to refocus the group's portfolio of auto brands and transform the company into a leader in cleaner cars after the diesel emissions scandal of 2015.

He's scheduled to hold a press conference Friday at Volkswagen's Wolfsburg, Germany, headquarters to lay out his plans.

Among the other changes at the company, Frank Witter will lead company IT and Rupert Stadler will lead group sales.

Muller, formerly the CEO of Porsche, took the helm of the group in the aftermath of the diesel scandal in 2015, in which the company had been found to be installing "defeat devices" in their cars to cheat emissions tests.

Mueller had "signaled he was open to play a part in the changes" in conversations with supervisory board chief Hans Dieter Poetsch, the company said.

Mueller, 64, has already steered the mammoth carmaker into a massive restructuring, aiming to offer electric versions of many of its models and slim down its operations over the coming decade.

"It's right for VW to look in a new direction", judged analyst Juergen Pieper of Metzler bank.

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. Fallout from the scandal has cost VW an estimated $30 billion over the past two years.

Hans Dieter Pötsch, chairman of the supervisory board, said Diess was the right manager to ensure VW Group secured its position as an worldwide vehicle-maker, as well as being instrumental in shaping the future of personal mobility. In addition to his job, he will directly oversee vehicle information technology as well as group development and research.

The labour chief had accused Diess of betraying workers and trying to use the emissions scandal as a pretext for pushing through job cuts.

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