VW replaces CEO Matthias Mueller amid group restructure

Porsche 911 Speedster

Porsche 911 Speedster

Mueller's replacement with VW brand chief Diess follows slow progress in reorganizing the group's auto brands, a key pillar of "Strategy 2025" to transform the Germany's biggest vehicle company into a leader in cleaner cars and to move on from its diesel emissions scandal of 2015.

"Volkswagen is thus systematically continuing to transform its business and establishing even more efficient group management in a phase of highly dynamic change in the company and the entire automotive industry".

"The creation of brand groups has been under consideration for a while", he said about the biggest overhaul since VW became a multi-brand conglomerate under former CEO Ferdinand Piech, a grandson of VW Beetle designer Ferdinand Porsche.

However, analysts welcomed signs of genuine movement at Europe's largest automaker where changes to corporate structure have often been stifled by warring stakeholders. "In the new world, it's Tesla", he said a year ago.

VW administrator Hans Dieter Poetsch said in an announcement that Mr. Mueller had done "extraordinary work" for the organization.

Diess is not only to head the management board, the top executive body at German companies that reports to the supervisory board, or board of directors; he is also to be in charge of vehicle development and research, as well as vehicle-related information technology.

Among the other changes at the company, Frank Witter will lead company IT and Rupert Stadler will lead group sales. The company's brands, which include Audi, Porsche, Skoda and Lamborghini, will be grouped into the broad categories of "volume", "premium" and "super premium".

VW to hand unions management board seat in reshuffle
However, it failed to elaborate further on that, or give any details as to what staffing changes could be on the way. Volkswagen is considering a surprise management shakeup that could include replacing CEO Matthias Mueller .

In this role, Muller will replace Herbert Diess, who was Chairman of the Volkswagen brand.

He said he would look at the different assets in VW's portfolio which included Renk and MAN Diesel, and review whether keeping them made sense. Whether these businesses will be invested in or sold off remains to be seen, Diess said.

Dr. Herbert Diess has been appointed as the Volkswagen Group's Chairman of the Board of Management.

He was installed after Mueller's attempts to reshape the automotive group foundered amid labour opposition, including his plans to sell motorbike brand Ducati.

Diess moved over from BMW in 2015 shortly before the Dieselgate scandal broke.

"We will emphatically address the special challenges that lie ahead of us, especially in electromobility, digitisation and new mobility services", he told a press conference at the group's Wolfsburg headquarters.

Having joined from BMW just a few months before the cheating became public knowledge, Diess has the advantage of being largely untainted by dieselgate - giving VW a chance at a fresh start.

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