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

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

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

The German auto manufacturer earlier Tuesday said it wanted to make changes to the management line-up in the company's top echelons.

Volkswagen said that talks were "currently open" and that Mueller "showed his willingness to contribute" to the changes.

Handelsblatt understands Mueller will be replaced by Herbert Diess, who now heads up the Volkswagen passenger vehicle brand. A decision could be made as early as Friday.

The company said Tuesday it "believes a further evolution of the control structure of the band" which "this may have a big change at the job of this chairman of this board of management", the German term to CEO.

Shares in Volkswagen, which also owns the Bentley, Bugatti, Lamborghini, Skoda, Audi and Porsche brands, jumped on the news, and were up 4.3 percent at 171.24 euros at 1520 GMT.

According to Handelsblatt, current CEO Matthias Mueller will be removed from his role as a Volkswagen Group CEO even though his contract runs until 2020.

The move comes after Europe's largest automaker has been hampered by infighting among its powerful stakeholders, which include the Porsche and Piech families, the German state of Lower Saxony, and labour leaders.

"On the basis of these considerations, the Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft is now in discussions with certain members of the Supervisory Board and of the Board of Management", the statement reads. Muller has overseen the company's response to the diesel emissions scandal of 2015, where fixed testing ended up costing it $2.8bn in fines. Muller's dismissal comes despite the company's strong performance last year which saw profits of €17bn (£14.8), a 16 per cent increase on the year before. 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.

A Volkswagen spokesman declined to comment on the rumours when contacted by AFP. Prior to joining VW, Diess was an executive at BMW.