Volkswagen names new CEO in sudden shift

Mae Love
April 14, 2018

Diess said that he will work to increase the efficiency of synergies across the group's companies, highlighting the importance of streamlining decision making processes in order to adapt to the fast-changing vehicle industry.

As the names suggest, the brands will be divided according to product value, with the likes of Volkswagen, Skoda and SEAT found in the Volume category, while Lamborghini, Porsche and Bentley will make up the Super Premium segment of the business. VW has also had to pay out billions of euros in fines following its 2015 emissions cheating scandal.

Under the plans, announced on Thursday, Volkswagen will divide itself into six new business areas, plus a portfolio for China, as part of an effort to decentralise responsibility and improve efficiency.

Diess came to VW from an executive position with BMW, and the Associated Press reports his man role since becoming head of the VW brand in 2015 has been negotiating with German worker representatives.

Mueller, who formerly headed Porsche, took over as CEO unexpectedly in September 2015 when Martin Winterkorn resigned over the company's scandal over cars rigged to cheat on emissions tests.

Corporate restructuring sees group separate vehicle brands into new core divisions - volume, premium and super premium.

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

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Board chair Hans Dieter Poetsch said Mueller, 64, had done "outstanding work" at a time when the company "faced the greatest challenge in its history".

This was not the only shift in the Volkswagen: Porsche CEO Oliver bloom joined the Board of governors of the concern and the head of Audi, Rupert Stadler will now be responsible for global sales group.

On his watch, the VW group a year ago held on to its title as the world's largest auto maker and made a net profit of ß11.4- billion (R169-billion).

One sign of the overhaul gaining traction is VW entering the home stretch for a potential share sale in its heavy-truck division, the biggest organizational shift since the aftermath of the diesel-emissions crisis.

The automaker's board member for procurement Francisco Javier Garcia Sanz will quit his post, the sources further added.

In other boardroom changes, Gunnar Kilian has been made head of human resources and organisation, replacing Karlheinz Blessing, who has left the board by mutual agreement.

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