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Volkswagen poised to axe boss Matthias Mueller

13 April, 2018, 01:21 | Author: Melinda Barton
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Mueller has been a part of the Volkswagen Group since 1984 when he joined Audi's IT department.

A VW spokesman could not immediately be reached for comment on the expected promotion of Diess.

Matthias Mueller, CEO of the Volkswagen Group, could be replaced by as soon as this Friday, if a report out of Germany proves to be correct.

Critics said that, as a longtime insider, Mr. Müller lacked the credibility needed to force change within Volkswagen. As the executive overseeing VW's biggest unit, he routinely butted heads with the powerful labor union as he sought to cut costs and simplify the byzantine structure of the carmaker.

Volkswagen AG said in the statement that Hans Dieter Poetsch, which is the chairman of the company, is discussing with top executives and board members regarding changes about management board.

"I don't see an obvious trigger that would have prompted this", said Christian Ludwig, an analyst at Bankhaus Lampe.


Mr Diess, 59, has been prepared for the role after being headhunted from BMW in 2015 less than three months before the revelation that VW had fitted 11 million diesel cars worldwide with "defeat device" software created to cheat official emissions tests. Muller's dismissal comes despite the company's strong performance last year which saw profits of €17bn (£14.8), a 16 per cent increase on the year before. The carmaker also managed to fend off Toyota Motor Corp.to retain its status as the world's largest automaker.

Mueller, 64, was head of Volkswagen's richly profitable Porsche division when he unexpectedly was handed the CEO job in September 2015.

The company said it was contemplating a management reshuffle and reassigning responsibilities among executives that "could include a change in the position of the chairman of the board of management", the German term for CEO. Porsche said in a separate release that any changes at VW would be reflected in its management.

However, no detail is disclosed by the company. 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 percent.

Bloomberg's Eyk Henning contributed.

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