Volkswagen mulls replacing chief exec amid management shake-up

11 April, 2018, 16:59 | Author: Shannon Aguilar
  • VW could make change at CEO by end of week as part of management reshuffle

Although Mueller's contract is not officially scheduled to terminate until 2020, Volkswagen said that the 64-year-old executive had "signaled his principal willingness" to help carry overhaul the company's management.

He launched an ambitious reform plan, including investing billions of euros in electric vehicles, but has struggled to push through reforms aimed at creating a more efficient and focused company.

Volkswagen will hand labour leaders a management board seat as part of a broader pact to unlock structural reforms and win backing for Herbert Diess as new chief executive, sources said on Wednesday.

Markets reacted positively as both Porsche's and Volkswagen's shares rose by more than 4 percent shortly after the first reports of the looming management reshuffle.

According to German newspaper Handelsblatt, which first reported the shakeup, Muller is to be replaced by Herbert Diess, who now heads up the Volkswagen brand.

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".

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Predecessor Martin Winterkorn fell victim to the company's scandal over cars rigged to cheat on diesel emissions tests.

The supervisory board will vote on the change in top leadership at a meeting on Friday, according to people familiar with the matter, who asked not to be identified speaking ahead of an official announcement.

Despite facing billions in fines, vehicle refits and lawsuits relating to its "dieselgate" scandal, Volkswagen's operating results have been robust, with sales and profit hitting record highs past year. The company sold a record 10.74 million vehicles, making it the world's largest carmaker, though the title is disputed by the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance, which sold 10.6 million and says Volkswagen is counting trucks that aren't cars.

Mueller's likely departure comes two days after Deutsche Bank DBKGn.DE , another pillar of corporate Germany, dismissed its chief executive, John Cryan, in pursuit of a more rapid turnaround following years of losses.

A Volkswagen spokesman declined to comment on the rumours when contacted by AFP.

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