Volkswagen to replace CEO with VW brand chief Herbert Diess
News outlets have reported that Volkswagen is looking to replace current CEO Matthias Mueller with the head of its core VW brand, Herbert Diess. This news comes even as VW has shown strong growth despite the large penalties faced during the diesel emissions scandal.
Volkswagen had stated earlier this week that it was looking at a change in leadership as part of a broader management overhaul but had not given details. But it is known that the German carmaker has faced issues lately due to infighting among its bigger stakeholders. These are the Porsche and Piech families, the German state of Lower Saxony and labour leaders.
Matthias Mueller had been appointed CEO in the aftermath of the 'dieselgate' scandal
Mr Mueller had been appointed in 2015 in the aftermath of the diesel scandal and was contracted to be in charge until 2020 although he had commented on being frustrated with the pace of Volkswagen's transformation and recently about his ability to turn around the brand's image following revelations the company had tested toxic fumes on monkeys. He had also been under criticism lately over the delay in finding a buyer for the Ducati motorcycle brand. In response to the company's decision to initiate a change in leadership, Mueller had expressed willingness to be a part of the overhaul.
Herbert Diess moved to VW from BMW in 2015
The frontrunner for the CEO job, Mr Diess, joined VW from BMW in 2015. He has focused largely on the VW brand's procurement and process management structures to bring its costs and efficiency closer to rival Toyota. He has had trouble with labour unions in this regard, first proposing job cuts but later agreeing to protect German jobs until 2025 to garner support for the company's future electric projects.
The decision seems popular among shareholders and market forecasters, given that the price of Volkswagen shares increased by 4.5% on the German stock market.