VW Group ousts CEO, names Diess as replacement, announces restructuring

VW Group ousts CEO, names Diess as replacement, announces restructuring

German business newspaper Handelsblatt and national news agency DPA reported Herbert Diess, head of the VW brand - one of the group's 12 makes of cars, trucks and motorbikes - was slated to take Mueller's place.

VW Group will reorganized into six business areas and the China region, which is VW Group's largest market.

Mueller will be replaced before the automaker's annual general meeting on May 3 and be replaced by brand chief Herbert Diess, Bild said.

German vehicle giant Volkswagen is set to replace its chief executive Matthias Mueller Thursday, as it struggles to move on from the "dieselgate" emissions scandal that has mired the company since 2015.

Board Chairman Hans Dieter Poetsch said Mueller, 64, had done "outstanding work" at a time when the company "faced the greatest challenge in its history".

Under the new corporate structure, a "volume group" would combine the mass-appeal brands Volkswagen, Skoda and Seat, alongside a "super-premium group" including Porsche, Bugatti, Bentley and Lamborghini, a "premium group" constituted by Audi, and a "commercial utility holding" encompassing truck production. Under his leadership, VW Group made painful cuts to costs, invested in electrification and self-driving technologies, and managed to boost sales-all while dealing with the fallout of the emission cheating scandal that has cost the company more than $30 billion so far.

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 company also is replacing its heads of human resources and purchasing.

However Ingo Speich, a fund manager at Union Investment which holds about 0.6 percent of Volkswagen preference shares, anxious that running a group with around 640,000 employees at over 120 plants worldwide could prove tough for Diess, who has a reputation for micro-management. Additionally, Porsche sports auto division head Oliver Blume is being promoted to the top management body of the entire group. Nevertheless, Diess had already secured the support of Osterloh, as well as the Porsche-Piech industrialist family which owns a controlling majority of Volkswagen shares.

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