It's official: Herbert Diess is the new CEO of Volkswagen.
Reports emerged this week that Volkswagen is undergoing a major restructure in the aftermath of the infamous dieselgate scandal that would include the appointment of a new CEO to replace Matthias Muller, who joined the company in 2015 a week after the dieselgate scandal broke out. And now it's official: Volkswagen has confirmed Matthias Muller is stepping down as CEO and chairman of the company's Board of Management.
The automaker says the decision was "mutual" and will be effective immediately. As expected, Muller's successor will be former BMW executive Dr. Herbert Diess, who will also keep his existing role as Volkswagen brand chief. "Matthias Müller has done outstanding work for the Volkswagen Group," Supervisory Board chairman Hans Dieter Pötsch said in a statement. "He assumed the chairmanship of the Board of Management in the fall of 2015 when the company faced the greatest challenge in its history." He added that Muller "fundamentally realigned the Group's strategy" and "initiated cultural change."
He also "made sure that the Volkswagen Group not just stayed on track but is now more robust than ever before. For that, he is due the thanks of the entire company." In addition to replacing Muller, VW is restructuring its car brands into three core groups: Volume, which will include VW, Skoda and Seat; Premium, which features Audi; and Super Premium, which includes Porsche, Bugatti, Lamborghini and Bentley. Another business area will be dedicated to China, while another will be be dedicated to its Truck & Bus division. Diess will be responsible for group research and development, while Porsche CEO Oliver Blume will oversee group production and will now belong to the Group's top governing body.
Francisco Javier Garcia Sanz, head of Procurement, is also leaving the company. Volkswagen says this new structure "streamlines group management, systematically leverages synergies in the individual operating units and speeds up decision-making."