Volkswagen replaces CEO Mueller, announces new structure

Unions will get a VW board seat if they agree to Herbert Diess as CEO

Unions will get a VW board seat if they agree to Herbert Diess as CEO

"Nobody knew anything", a source at one of VW's brands told Reuters.

Automaker Volkswagen is replacing CEO Matthias Mueller with core brand head Herbert Diess and announcing a new management structure the German automaker said would enable faster decision-making as autonomous and electric cars transform the industry.

Besides the "volume" brand group that includes VW brand, Czech division Skoda and Spanish unit Seat, there will be a "commercial vehicles" category that includes the MAN and Scania heavy-truck brands and VW's van division, the source said.

Human resources chief Karlheinz Blessing is also set to go.

Witter did not want to comment, a VW spokesman said, while the carmaker's headquarters and works council declined comment. The move is part of an effort to reorganize the company to do business more efficiently, the company said.


German rival Daimler, for example, is looking at splitting parts of its business into separate entities, while autos supplier Continental is weighing up a revamp that could entail listing or spinning off divisions.

They had brought Thursday's board meeting forward from Friday afternoon for the same reason, the sources said. That compares with Volkswagen's current market capitalisation of around 85 billion euros.

For Volkswagen its the biggest overhaul since it became a multi-brand conglomerate under former chief executive Ferdinand Piech, a grandson of VW Beetle designer Ferdinand Porsche.

That would give him a sweeping mandate to review broader changes to the way the group is managed. "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", Diess said.

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.

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