Volkswagen boss could be replaced in restructuring

Alicia Cross
April 13, 2018

The 64-year-old Mueller, who took over in 2015 and has worked inside the Volkswagen structure his entire adult life, has two years left on his current contract.

Representatives of Porsche and the German state of Lower Saxony, VW's two largest shareholders, weren't immediately available for comment.

Such an overhaul would be part of a wider auto industry trend toward spin-offs as companies aim to become more nimble and efficient to cope with rapid changes such as the rise of electric vehicles and autonomous driving. Amid opposition from labour leaders, Mueller failed to sell motorbike maker Ducati previous year.

It is unclear how soon Diess, a former BMW executive who joined VW in July 2015 and has clashed with the company's labor leaders, would replace Mueller.

"The Volkswagen brand's first-quarter delivery results are very encouraging".

Volkswagen shares, which closed 4.5 percent up on Tuesday after reports of Diess's likely appointment, gained 0.9 percent on Wednesday to 173.16 euros.

In a statement released today, the company said only that it was considering "personnel changes in the board of management [which] could also include a change in the position of the chairman of the board of management".

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

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In tapping the 59-year-old Diess for the top job, Volkswagen would elevate a senior executive from its own ranks, while handing the reins to someone who was not at the automaker when the diesel cheating began.

"We see no better alternative to Matthias Mueller to make the company fit for the future".

The management revamp comes after the company posted record profit past year.

The issue with restructuring VW lies with a tug a war between interested parties including the controlling families, stakeholders, and unions.

According to VW's statement, Mueller showed "general willingness to contribute to the changes".

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

Volkswagen chose not to comment on Handelsblatt's information.

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