Volkswagen considering board changes, may name new CEO

Apr 13, 2018, 02:47
Volkswagen considering board changes, may name new CEO

Herbert Diess presents the new I.D. Vizzion vehicle model during an event at the 88th International Motor Show at Palexpo in Geneva, Switzerland, March 5, 2018.

Supervisory board chief Hans Dieter Poetsch had been "speaking with different members of the supervisory and executive boards" about moving or replacing some of them, it went on, adding that Mueller "signalled he was open to play a part in the changes".

Volkswagen directors are meeting to discuss making VW brand chief Herbert Diess Chief Executive and deliberating on the most far-reaching changes since industry scion Ferdinand Piech built the multi-brand empire, the sources told Reuters.

The German automaker said in a statement that it would reorganize its management into six broad business areas plus China.

The plans were announced after Volkswagen board of directors ousted Matthias Mueller as CEO and discussed ways to overhaul the company, which spans motorbikes, buses, trucks and passenger auto brands including Ducati, Bentley, Porsche, Audi, Scania and Skoda.

Its statement said the truck and bus division would be made ready for capital markets, a step that could include selling shares in the division. Its brands will be split into vehicle groups for Volume, Premium, and Super Premium nameplates.

Diess said Mueller "laid the groundwork" for Volkswagen's transformation.

Diess, a former BMW executive, has had the hard task of negotiating restructuring and cost-cutting with German worker representatives since becoming head of the Volkswagen brand in 2015.

Human resources head Karlheinz Blessing is being replaced by Gunnar Kilian, until now an official with the company's works council, or employee representatives. But when Winterkorn fell, he had only been with the company for less than three months.

With VW's core namesake brand shouldering the bulk of development spending within the group, Diess will also become responsible for R&D activites across the group. Audi would be excluded from this group and form its own premium division.

Oliver Blume, CEO of Porsche, joins the Group Board of Management, and takes on the responsibility for group production.

The German carmaker's deliberations come as rival carmakers and suppliers including Fiat and Daimler work on ways to slim down and divest non-core assets.