VW replaces CEO Matthias Mueller amid group restructure

Monday, 16 Apr, 2018

Head of purchasing Francisco Javier Garcia Sanz is leaving at his own request and his post is to be filled on an acting basis by Volkswagen brand purchasing head Ralf Brandstaetter, the company said.

The carmaker said it will rearrange its 12 marks by making six new vehicle divisions and an uncommon arm dedicated to China, its biggest market.

Germany's Handelsblatt business publication and the national Bild daily reported that Mueller would be replaced as early as Friday by Diess, a former BMW executive who joined Volkswagen in 2015.

Diess appointment as CEO was followed by other changes in the management of the automaker.

The management shake-up signals VW's desire to move forward from the emissions scandal and press on with its "Strategy 2025" plan to build greener vehicles.

Mueller, who had headed Porsche, took over from Winterkorn when he resigned because of the scandal in September 2015.

He has presided over a wide ranging restructuring of the company and its other brands.

With a reputation as a tough manager and cost-cutter, the trained engineer boosted VW profitability in the years since, despite the massive reputational damage of the emissions scam.

But Mueller himself landed in prosecutors' sights over suspicions he may have known about the cheating before it became public and failed in his duty to inform investors. Its brands also include Bentley, Scania, Skoda and Ducati.

Originally contracted to serve until 2020, Mueller was stepping down "by mutual agreement, effective immediately", VW said in a statement released after a meeting of its supervisory board.

Further, Potsch added, "Not only did he safely navigate VW through that time; together with his team, he also fundamentally realigned the group's strategy, initiated cultural change and, with great personal commitment, made sure that the Volkswagen Group not just stayed on track but is now more robust than ever before".

Be that as it may, Mr. Mueller was seen by pundits as having neglected to refocus the gathering's arrangement of brands, a key mainstay of "Procedure 2025" to change the organization into a pioneer in cleaner autos after the diesel outrage.

"We are convinced that, with Diess, we have the right man on board", Osterloh said in a letter to employees on Friday.

The group also appointed Dr Oliver Blume, chairman of the Board of Management at Porsche, to its governing body.

VW additionally reported that works board official Gunnar Kilian would supplant Karlheinz Blessing as HR boss.