13 Apr 18

VW Group appoints Herbert Diess as CEO

Herbert Diess will take over the CEO role of the Volkswagen Group position of Matthias Mueller, who was ousted by the board after he failed to refocus the group's portfolio of car brands in the wake of the diesel emissions cheating scandal that started in 2015.

VW also announced a new organisation based on six business areas and the China region. The group's brands will be split into new vehicle groups with categories for Value, Premium and Super Premium marques along with a Truck & Bus division.

Mr Diess is the current head of the Volkswagen brand. Mr Mueller, who took on the CEO post less than three years ago, is stepping down immediately.

Mr Diess, a former BMW executive, joined Volkswagen only months after the diesel emission scandal erupted. He will be judged on whether he succeeds in reining in excessive spending and installing budget discipline. Indeed, profit margins had started being under pressure even before Dieselgate erupted.

Management reshuffle

Following this reorganisation, Mr Diess will be responsible for Group Development and Research. He will also head the vital department of Vehicle IT. Group Sales will be led by Rupert Stadler, the head of Audi, Group Production by Oliver Blume, the head of Porsche.

The group wants to introduce a more streamlined management that systematically leverages synergies in the individual operating units and speeds up decision-making.

“The Volkswagen Group is a union of strong brands with great potential. Matthias Mueller has laid the groundwork for our transformation. My most important task will now be to join with our management team and our Group workforce in consistently pursuing and pushing forward our evolution into a profitable, world-leading provider of sustainable mobility. 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 digitalisation of the automobile and transportation as well as new mobility services,” Diess said.

Image: Herbert Diess (source: VW Group)

Authored by: Benjamin Uyttebroeck