Volkswagen appoints Herbert Diess as CEO

Volkswagen appoints Herbert Diess as CEO

Several other executives were replaced as VW revealed a new management structure it says will enable faster decision making at a time when autonomous and electric cars are starting to transform the industry.

This post will replace the Hg Diss, who was Chairman of the Volkswagen brand. Luxury group Audi will be placed in a separate premium division and high-end brands Porsche, Bentley, Bugatti and Lamborghini in a super-premium group.

"The Volkswagen Group's goal is and remains to align the company and its brands with future needs, to safeguard its position among the leaders of the worldwide automotive industry with innovativeness and profitability and to be instrumental in shaping tomorrow's personal mobility with the strength of our Group brands", said chairman of the Supervisory Board Hans Dieter Pötsch in the statement announcing the changes.

Diess was appointed late on Thursday to succeed ousted group chief Matthias Mueller as part of an overhaul that includes the streamlining of VW's multiple vehicle brands into three groups while preparing its truck business for a potential listing. Diess will be responsible for Group development and research and will also take on additional Group management roles alongside heading the Vehicle IT.

The first big challenges for the new executive will be to prepare for the market readiness of Truck & Bus division, as well as reorganizing the group in six business areas and the China region.

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"The Volkswagen Group is a union of strong brands with great potential".

"Matthias Müller has laid the groundwork for our transformation", said Diess in a statement. "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". Mueller previous year earned about 10 million euros in pay and benefits. He and Oliver Blume, the 49-year-old head of the Porsche brand, will join the group's management board.

Longtime chief executive Winterkorn quit days after the firm admitted to installing software in 11 million diesel vehicles worldwide created to cheat regulatory emissions tests in a scandal that became known as "dieselgate".

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.

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