Published: Sun, April 15, 2018

Dr. Herbert Diess appointed as new Volkswagen CEO

Dr. Herbert Diess appointed as new Volkswagen CEO

This new structure will include the brand groups of volume, premium and super premium products, as well as a truck and bus division, and a still-unannounced fifth and sixth division as of Friday morning.

He set out his goals for the entire group on Thursday: "In a phase of profound upheaval in the automotive industry, it is vital for Volkswagen to pick up speed and make an unmistakable mark in e-mobility, the digitalization of the automobile and transportation as well as new mobility services", he said in a statement.

"This is an evolution and not a revolution", Diess, 59, told journalists, carefully understating the significance of carving Volkswagen up into new divisions, adding that details still needed to be worked out over the coming months.

Mueller, a former chief executive of VW subsidiary Porsche AG, was brought in to replace Martin Winterkorn in 2015 and was contracted to serve until 2020.

However, analysts welcomed signs of genuine movement at Europe's largest automaker where changes to corporate structure have often been stifled by warring stakeholders.

Volkswagen shares declined 0.5 percent to 175.78 euros as of 11:30 Frankfurt, reversing a gain earlier in the day.

Analysts cheered Mr Diess' appointment.

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

Diess, who has been head of the VW brand since moving from BMW in 2015, will also assume direct responsibility for research and development and vehicle connectivity. Frank Witter will head company IT.

German auto giant Volkswagen on Thursday named Herbert Diess as its new chief executive, replacing Matthias Mueller, as the one-time paragon of German industry seeks to turn the page on the "dieselgate" emissions scandal that has dogged it since 2015.

The recently created volume brand group will also consist VW's commercial-vehicle division, one of the sources informed. Whether these businesses will be invested in or sold off remains to be seen, Diess said. Matthias Mueller steps down as chairman of the board of management by mutual agreement, effective immediately.

"The Volkswagen Group is a union of strong brands with great potential". Mueller had taken on the job days after the "Dieselgate" scandal broke in September 2015.

Diess made the disclosure at his first news conference as chief executive at VW's headquarters in Wolfsburg, Germany, on Friday.

Diess, known as a very good cost manager, would be the best solution as a successor for the next five years, he said.

Diess brings an outsider's perspective to the job, having joined Volkswagen in July 2015 after spending almost two decades at rival German automaker BMW.

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