VW CEO Mueller's abrupt exit heralds sweeping change at carmaker

Marcus Newton
April 13, 2018

Its complex structure has extended to its main shareholder, Porsche Automobil Holding SE, where Volkswagen's chairman serves as the CEO and Mueller also serves as a top executive.

Volkswagen said Tuesday it was considering replacing CEO Matthias Mueller as part of a management shake-up, and German news media reported Mueller's job would go to core Volkswagen brand head Herbert Diess.

The supervisory board will meet Friday to sign off on the management changes, the people said. Prior to joining the Wolfsburg-based automaker in 2015, Diess was BMW's head of development, and is widely credited with slashing costs.

Mueller, a company veteran, was installed at short notice in 2015, a week after the company admitted to cheating US diesel emission tests, prompting criticism from some investors who said that only an outsider could rebuild trust in the business.

Despite the doubts, Mueller implemented a reform plan, which involved investing billions in an all-electric auto range which is set to hit the market int he next couple of years. According to the company, final decision is expected to be made by the end of the week.

After-tax profit rose to 11.6 billion euros ($14.3 billion) previous year, on sales of 230.6 billion euros.

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Volkswagen AG said in the statement that Hans Dieter Poetsch, which is the chairman of the company, is discussing with top executives and board members regarding changes about management board. German magazine Der Spiegel was first to report that Kilian could replace Blessing who joined VW in January 2016. Other potential CEO candidates include Volkswagen's trucks chief and Daimler veteran Andreas Renschler.

"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.

The issue with restructuring VW lies with a tug a war between interested parties including the controlling families, stakeholders, and unions.

However, no detail is disclosed by the company.

Volkswagen declined to comment on whether the board was poised to name Diess as new CEO.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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