VW to give workers a board seat

15 April, 2018, 01:07 | Author: Salvatore Jensen
  • Volkswagen rushed revamp triggers labour concern- sourcesMore

VOLKSWAGEN'S board abruptly ended the tenure of chief executive officer Matthias Mueller, a caretaker who revived the carmaker after its worst crisis on record, turning instead to a leader who can implement deeper changes, people familiar with the matter said.

Chief Executive Matthias Mueller is set to be replaced by VW brand boss Herbert Diess after failing to refocus the group's portfolio of vehicle brands, ranging from Skoda to Lamborghini.

Volkswagen replaced Müller after he failed to refocus the group's portfolio of auto brands, a key pillar of "Strategy 2025" to transform the company into a leader in cleaner cars after the diesel emissions scandal of 2015.

Volkswagen will carve out a trucks and buses division that includes MAN and Scania heavy-truck brands, the source said, adding that Volkswagen's MAN Turbo and Renk units would be put into a further division.

A VW logo is seen in front of the main building of the Volkswagen brand at the Volkswagen headquarters during a media tour to present Volkswagen's so called "Blaue Fabrik" (Blue Factory) environmental program, in Wolfsburg, Germany May 19, 2017.

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

While the timing of the handover seems somewhat counterintuitive - VW is financially on the mend and has defended its status as the industry No. 1 - Mueller had at times shown signs of fatigue.

Board chairman Hans Dieter Poetsch said the departing Mr Mueller had done "outstanding work" at a time when the company "faced the greatest challenge in its history".




The change at the top comes after the vehicle maker's management board met to discuss how the 80-year-old brand would meet the future challenges it had set itself.

After-tax profit rose to 11.6 billion euros ($14.3 billion) previous year, on sales of 230.6 billion euros. The carmaker also managed to fend off Toyota Motor to retain its status as the world's largest carmaker.

Volkswagen has replaced its chief executive in a sudden management overhaul aimed at making a clean break from its diesel scandal and preparing the automaker for major industry changes. Müller had previously served as the CEO of Porsche since July 2010.

Mr Mueller - a veteran of the German vehicle company - was promoted from his role heading the Porsche division to take the job heading the entire group.

The company is considering a listing of its truck and bus.

Tensions flared in recent weeks between Mr Mueller and Lower Saxony's leadership, which is represented on the supervisory board.

The potential restructuring was first reported by German magazine Der Spiegel.

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