Published: Sun, April 15, 2018
Money | By Ethel Goodwin

Volkswagen Replaces CEO In Broad Management Overhaul

Volkswagen Replaces CEO In Broad Management Overhaul

The supervisory board meeting to approve a new leadership structure will now be held Thursday instead of Friday, one source told Reuters.

Volkswagen is more complex than most of its peers, with the Porsche-Piech families de-facto controlling the manufacturer and the state of Lower-Saxony - home to the company's headquarters and VW's main factory - owning 20 per cent.

Volkswagen replaced Mr Mueller after he failed to refocus the group's portfolio of vehicle brands and transform the company into a leader in cleaner cars after the diesel emissions scandal of 2015.

Over 90 percent of the Wolfsburg plant's 60,000-strong workforce are members of Germany's largest union, IG Metall, and the 10 labor representatives on the supervisory board have a say in appointing members of the management board.

In 2016, a federal judge has approved a $15 billion settlement for claims following the emissions cheating controversy, making it the largest auto-scandal settlement in US history.

Under Mr Mueller - who was talked into taking the top job in the chaotic days following the public disclosure of the diesel cheating - VW has weathered the blows from the scandal while embarking on an aggressive expansion into electric cars.

His appointment comes as Volkswagen has largely navigated past an emissions scandal in which the company admitted to rigging some 11 million cars worldwide with software to cheat pollution tests.

Labor leaders opposed Mueller's plans for selling motorcycle maker Ducati and have scuppered other cost cut plans in the past.

The automaker's share price has since recovered, but some lawsuits are still pending.

Mueller's contract as CEO at Volkswagen had been expected to run through the end of 2019, so a change now would represent a substantial reduction in his tenure at the head of the firm. VW has paid more than $30 billion in fines for the scandal, but the company maintained plans to expand sales in the USA despite suffering sales declines.

The fourth group, truck and bus, isn't a different tier so much as an entirely different sales channel.

"We're removing the equivalent of hundreds of thousands of cars from the road by changing out these engines", MPCA Commissioner John Linc Stine said.

Early in Diess's tenure as head of the VW auto brand, labour leader Bernd Osterloh publicly questioned his credibility in contract talks, raising concerns that he might fall victim to the carmaker's complex internal politics, which has toppled many high-profile newcomers. Today the company issued a statement thanking Müller for his time during what it referred to as "the greatest challenge in its history". But how about all the other cars that are more than a year old?

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