Volkswagen announces Herbert Diess as new CEO

Volkswagen announces Herbert Diess as new CEO

Volkswagen directors are meeting to discuss making VW brand chief Herbert Diess Chief Executive and deliberating on the most far-reaching changes since industry scion Ferdinand Piech built the multi-brand empire, the sources told Reuters.

The plans were announced after Volkswagen board of directors ousted Matthias Mueller as CEO and discussed ways to overhaul the company, which spans motorbikes, buses, trucks and passenger auto brands including Ducati, Bentley, Porsche, Audi, Scania and Skoda.

Mueller will be replaced before the automaker's annual general meeting on May 3 and be replaced by brand chief Herbert Diess, Bild said.

The Volkswagen brand is doing its utmost to develop and produce the electric cars of the future in Germany.

"In a phase of profound upheaval in the automotive industry, it is vital for Volkswagen to pick up speed and make an unmistakable mark in e-mobility, the digitalization of the automobile and transportation as well as new mobility services", the new CEO added.

The company said in a statement that it would group all its brands and management functions into six broad business areas plus China.

Analysts welcomed the appointment of Diess, a former BMW executive who has more than doubled profitability at the VW brand since taking charge in 2015.

More news: Trump has not laid out timetable for Syria attack response - White House

Separately, VW said works council executive Gunnar Kilian, a close aide to labor boss Bernd Osterloh, will replace group human resources chief Karlheinz Blessing who will stay at VW as an adviser.

Volkswagen's MAN Turbo and Renk units will also be put into a separate division, the source said. Head of procurement Francisco Javier Garcia Sanz will leave the post, Automobilwoche reported, without saying where it got the information.

Earlier this month, the company hired Tesla's Model S and Model X program manager to lead the development of the MEB line. Audi would be excluded from this group and form its own premium division.

Diess' influence at Volkswagen would grow even further if the supervisory board supports long-standing plans to combine the carmakers' high number of independently operating brands into four core groups.

VW supervisory board members are discussing the creation of a "super premium" group which would include sports vehicle brands Porsche, Bentley, Lamborghini and Bugatti, the source said.

Automotive analyst Frank Schwope at NordLB said a revamp could also prove to be a fresh trigger for deciding what the Wolfsburg-based group's core businesses are.

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