Wednesday, 25 April, 2018

Volkswagen to replace HR chief with Gunnar Kilian: Spiegel

As Diesel Scandal Fades, VW Is Planning to Replace Its CEO Volkswagen flags potential major management changes
Cristina Norman | 11 April, 2018, 17:00

VW and the works council declined to comment.

Further details are emerging over an expected management shake-up at German auto giant Volkswagen AG, ahead of a supervisory board meeting expected on Friday.

Europe's largest auto maker is poised to replace Mueller this week with VW brand chief Herbert Diess, seeking to inject fresh impetus to its recovery from an emissions scandal. The shares jumped as much as 5%.

However, Volkswagen refused City AM's request to confirm whether Muller was resigning, and whether he would be replaced by Diess. As the executive overseeing VW's biggest unit, he has routinely butted heads with labor leaders while seeking to cut costs and simplify the carmaker's Byzantine structure. "I don't see an obvious trigger that would have prompted this".

Mueller-was made CEO in September 2015, at the height of the automaker's diesel emissions scandal.

Its profit margin climbed to 7.4% of sales in 2017 from 6% in 2015, when the crisis hit.

Volkswagen said that Mueller had "showed his general willingness to contribute to the changes".

The VW cars with 2-liter diesels would meet emissions standards tests in a laboratory or testing station, but in normal operation, they emit nitrogen oxides at up to 40 times the standard, according to the EPA.

VW said earlier Tuesday that it was considering a change in the CEO job.

Its complex structure has extended to its main shareholder, Porsche Automobil Holding, where VW's chairman serves as the CEO and Mueller also serves as a top executive.

Volkswagen owns several brands including Audi, Porsche and Skoda.

The move comes after Europe's largest automaker has been hampered by infighting among its powerful stakeholders, which include the Porsche and Piech families, the German state of Lower Saxony, and labour leaders.

Including Mueller, VW's management board totals nine people, with responsibilities ranging from purchasing to legal affairs to financing and human resources.

Spiegel added that VW plans to split its business into four divisions - a volume brand group including VW, Seat and Skoda, a premium brand group consisting of Bentley and Audi, a sports auto group including Porsche, Bugatti and Lamborghini and a commercial vehicle and trucks arm.

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