Tuesday, 18 September, 2018

Volkswagen Group management shuffled under new CEO New boss, who Diess?

Herbert Diess Herbert Diess
Jan Cook | 15 April, 2018, 01:08

German business newspaper Handelsblatt and national news agency DPA had all tipped Diess, head of the VW brand, as Mueller's successor.

Mueller, who formerly headed Porsche, took over as CEO unexpectedly in September 2015 when Martin Winterkorn resigned over the company's scandal over cars rigged to cheat on emissions tests.

While Mr Mueller is a VW veteran, at times he cuts an uneasy figure in the top job, which required him to manage the often contradictory demands of angry auto owners, disgruntled investors, well-organised workers, as well as state officials with their own political agendas.

Shares in Volkswagen closed almost two percent higher to 176.60 euros ahead of the closely-watched board meeting, outperforming the Dax index of leading shares that was up almost one percent. Other big shareholders are the German state of Lower Saxony, where Volkswagen is headquartered, with 20 percent of the voting rights, and Qatar Holding with 17 percent.

The company has yet to comment on the reason for the shake-up or offer official confirmation of the changes.

Going, going, gone? Matthias Mueller's days at VW seem to be over.

The void has been filled by VW's powerful labor unions, which already had significant influence at the carmaker before the "Dieselgate" crisis.

"The proposal will be the subject of heated discussion" the source told "SPIEGEL".

Cambridge Analytica may have accessed private Facebook messages as well
Just yesterday, New York Times writer Brian Chen downloaded every piece of his personal data that the social network was storing. Loebsack asked whether it would be possible for Facebook to exist if it did not package user data into profiles for advertisers.

Publicly-listed companies in Germany have two management structures: one consisting of the management board around the CEO and a supervisory board that is made up half-half of labour representatives and members of the capital side to ensure even distribution of interests. Nevertheless, Diess had already secured the support of Osterloh, as well as the Porsche-Piech industrialist family which owns a controlling majority of Volkswagen shares.

"We're removing the equivalent of hundreds of thousands of cars from the road by changing out these engines", MPCA Commissioner John Linc Stine said. Sixty percent of the funds will be spent in the metro area, and 40 percent will go to greater Minnesota, based on where the non-compliant VW vehicles were located.

Volkswagen is expected to finalize major changes to its leadership and possibly its structure after a supervisory board meeting later Thursday.

Labor leaders opposed Mueller's plans for selling motorcycle maker Ducati and have scuppered other cost cut plans in the past.

"Herbert Diess was imported from BMW in 2015 and tasked with improving the performance of the VW brand", Warburton said in a note.

With about 642,000 employees, VW is one of the world's largest companies in every respect.

It was the flawless time for Diess to arrive - the Dieselgate scandal was just about to blow up, but unlike any of his peers at the company he was not tainted by association. German worker jobs are now guaranteed until 2025.

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