Volkswagen looking at changing CEO in reshuffle; Mueller's future at company uncertain

Volkswagen gets new boss ahead of sweeping changes

"The creation of brand groups has been under consideration for a while", he said about the biggest overhaul since VW became a multi-brand conglomerate under former CEO Ferdinand Piech, a grandson of VW Beetle designer Ferdinand Porsche.

The outrage, in which VW introduced outflows deceiving programming in 11 million vehicles around the world, has taken a toll the firm, in any event, $30bn (£22.4bn) in fines and different expenses.

"This is all we could have asked for, and expect the market to take the news positively", Evercore ISI analyst Arndt Ellinghorst said in a note on Friday.

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.

As part and parcel of the Diess appointment, the automaker also announced that it is streamlining its product offerings.

Other areas VW Group will focus include research and development, sales, and production.

Diess, a former BMW AG executive, has had the hard task of negotiating restructuring and cost-cutting with German worker representatives since becoming head of the Volkswagen brand in 2015.

"Volkswagen is thus systematically continuing to transform its business and establishing even more efficient group management in a phase of highly dynamic change in the company and the entire automotive industry".

Diess was the subject of speculation as a possible successor to Winterkorn when he arrived at Volkswagen from BMW less than three months before Winterkorn's sudden departure left the company needing a new CEO in a hurry. The new plan rationalizes VW's autos into three groups, Volume, Premium and Super Premium. The company makes mass-market cars under the Volkswagen, SEAT and Skoda brands, luxury cars under the Audi nameplate and very high-priced vehicles under the Lamborghini and Bentley brands.

"We will review all options", Diess said, adding that this could include investing in the businesses or pursuing a sale.

Volkswagen said in a short statement that board of directors Chairman Hans Dieter Poetsch was in discussions with top managers about their duties and that the result of the talks was "currently open".

"Diess will get enormous power", he stated.

Longtime CEO Winterkorn quit days after the firm admitted to installing software in 11 million diesel vehicles worldwide created to cheat regulatory emissions tests in a scandal that became known as "dieselgate".

VW will not cancel Mueller's contract, meaning the 64-year-old can still expect to pocket millions in the next two years despite being out of the job before his contract expires in 2020.



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