Volkswagen replaces CEO, announces new structure

Volkswagen Names Peik Von Bestenbostel As New Corp Comms Head

Diess came to Volkswagen in 2015 as head of the core nameplate from competitor BMW, where he was head of vehicle development.

Blume will retain his role as CEO of Porsche.

"He took over the leadership of the group in the fall of 2015 that's when the company faced the biggest challenge in its history", said Petch.

Mueller's replacement with VW brand chief Diess follows slow progress in reorganizing the group's vehicle brands, a key pillar of "Strategy 2025" to transform the Germany's biggest auto company into a leader in cleaner cars and to move on from its diesel emissions scandal of 2015.

This post will replace the Hg Diss, who was Chairman of the Volkswagen brand.

The Volkswagen Group is in the process of completely revamping its corporate structure, splitting its impressive brand portfolio into three segments - Volume, Premium and Super Premium - in order to streamline its decision-making processes and make the company more agile.

Müller took the top job at beleaguered Volkswagen in 2015 at the height of the emissions crisis. Mueller had been tapped as CEO unexpectedly in September 2015 when Martin Winterkorn resigned over the scandal in which the company had rigged carts to cheat on U.S. emissions tests.

On his watch, the VW group previous year held on to its title as the world's largest vehicle maker and made a net profit of ß11.4- billion (R169-billion).

Kilian's appointment, first reported by German magazine Der Spiegel, would give VW's labour representatives a direct say on cost cutting and strategy debates at executive board level.

"Bringing Herbert Diess' CEO nomination forward is the next step in transforming VW into a more modern and effective company", Evercore ISI analyst Arndt Ellinghorst said in a note.

His cost-cutting measures and other changes are seen at top levels to have been essential to the record earnings the vehicle group posted previous year. The company also makes cars under the Audi, SEAT, Skoda, Bentley, Bugatti, and Lamborghini brands.

The labour chief had accused Diess of betraying workers and trying to use the emissions scandal as a pretext for pushing through job cuts. It said the head of purchasing, Francisco Javier Garcia Sanz, was leaving at his own request and that his post would be filled on an acting basis by Volkswagen brand purchasing head Ralf Brandstaetter.

The company will divide itself into six new business areas as part of an effort to decentralize responsibility and improve efficiency.

Gunnar Killan, formerly secretary-general of the VW Group Works Council, has been named to the Group Board of Management for Human Resources.

Meanwhile, Porsche CEO Oliver Blume has moved to the group board of management in charge of group production.

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