Volkswagen says considering board 'changes', may name new CEO

Eileen GuzmanApr 11, 2018

"Volkswagen considers a further development of the management structure of the group which would also be associated with personnel changes in the board of management", VW said in its statement announcing the possible changes. The 64-year-old Mueller's contract is due to run until 2020.

Mueller was elevated from his role as Porsche CEO just days after the Dieselgate emissions cheating scandal broke in late 2015, replacing Martin Winterkorn.

Volkswagen is controlled by the Piech and Porsche families, which have 52 per cent of voting rights. Its profit margin climbed to 7.4% of sales past year from 6% in 2015, when the crisis hit.

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 labor representatives and members of the capital side to ensure even distribution of interests. The announcement comes in the wake of a scandal in which the company was accused of fitting its diesel engines with devices to pass emissions tests.

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.

Diess and Mueller instead agreed to guarantee VW's German jobs until 2025 to get labour approval for a plan to turn the carmaker into a mass producer of electric cars. Der Spiegel magazine reported last week that manufacturers including Volkswagen, BMW and Daimler AG could be asked to contribute to a €5 billion- government fund to pay for hardware upgrades to lower the emissions of smog-causing nitrogen oxides in older diesel cars.

Previous executives who attempted deeper cuts in VW's homeland, including Bernd Pischetsrieder and Wolfgang Bernhard, were forced out of office or stifled in their reform efforts.

"If Diess is confirmed as the successor, VW shares will extend their gains", Evercore ISI analyst Arndt Ellinghorst told the publication, who has an "outperform" rating on the stock.

A Volkswagen spokesman declined to comment. Its complex structure has extended to its main shareholder, Porsche Automobil Holding SE, where Volkswagen's chairman serves as the CEO and Mueller also serves as a top executive.

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