Volkswagen Considers Potential Personnel Changes In Board Of Management

Volkswagen Considers Potential Personnel Changes In Board Of Management

Volkswagen Considers Potential Personnel Changes In Board Of Management

Matthias Mueller, CEO of the Volkswagen Group, could be replaced by as soon as this Friday, if a report out of Germany proves to be correct.

None of these behind-the-scenes deliberations were apparent from VW's surprise release that was as short as it was cryptic when it landed on Tuesday afternoon.

Volkswagen (VOWG_p.DE) will give workers a management board seat to try to secure agreement for a far-reaching reform of the company under a new chief executive, sources familiar with the matter said on Wednesday.

The scandal, and Volkswagen's continued vulnerability to it, came into renewed focus after The New York Times reported in January that the company had helped to finance experiments on monkeys in a bungled attempt to show that exhaust from modern diesels was benign. The carmaker also managed to fend off Toyota to retain its status as the world's largest automaker.

"If Diess is confirmed as the successor, VW shares will extend their gains", Evercore ISI analyst Arndt Ellinghorst said, who has an "outperform" rating on the stock. 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.

Muller was named CEO in 2015 after overseeing VW's Porsche brand, and has somehow led the automaker to record sales and profits as it dealt with an emissions scandal. Porsche said separately any changes at VW would have a knock-on effect for it.

German carmaker Volkswagen told press on Tuesday that the automotive giant is considering far-reaching personnel changes within its senior management.

Mueller has been accused of a weakness in his decision-making at Europe's biggest vehicle manufacturer, a source close to the supervisory board told dpa. Audi, the namesake VW brand, the trucks division and the group's Chinese operations have representatives on VW's top executive body.

While Mueller is a life-long VW veteran, at times he cut an uneasy figure in the top job, which required him to manage the often contradictory demands of angry auto owners, disgruntled investors, well organized workers, and state officials with their own political agendas.

German newspaper Handelsblatt first reported that Diess would replace Mueller. The group sold more than 4 million cars in China in 2017, far more than in any other country.

Mueller's comments exhibited "a lack of sensitivity at a hard time for VW", Lower Saxony's economic minister Bernd Althusmann, who also sits on VW's supervisory board, told German daily Hannoversche Allgemeine Zeitung.

Related news