VW appoints Herbert Diess as new CEO, creates new divisions

VW appoints Herbert Diess as new CEO, creates new divisions

Labour representatives at Volkswagen are concerned by a sudden rush by the German carmaker's board to approve sweeping changes on Thursday, sources said, while Handelsblatt reported that its finance chief could step down. "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.

The company said in a statement that it would group all its brands and management functions into six broad business areas plus China.

Volkswagen is going to replace Mueller with Herbert Diess, two sources informed Reuters on Tuesday.

Müller was named CEO in September 2015 after his predecessor, Martin Winterkorn, resigned within days of the Dieselgate scandal coming to light.

It is not clear to what extent any restructuring plans for the Volkswagen Group - which includes the VW, Audi, Seat and Skoda brands - will be decided at the board meeting, expected to start at 1500 GMT and last late into the night. Earlier on Thursday, sources had told Reuters that VW would reorganize its brands into these groups.

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Separately, VW said works council executive Gunnar Kilian, a close aide to labor boss Bernd Osterloh, will replace group human resources chief Karlheinz Blessing who will stay at VW as an adviser.

Volkswagen may create a "super premium" brand group which includes Porsche, Bentley, Lamborghini and Bugatti, with Audi exclusively in the "premium" group, the source said.

The company made other changes in top posts.

Europe's biggest automaker has, particularly since its 2015 emissions scandal, been looking to become more focused and efficient by, for example, spinning off its trucks business, creating a premium cars unit or selling motorbike brand Ducati. Rupert Stadler, CEO of luxury division Audi will take charge of group sales. Porsche sports auto division head Oliver Blume was promoted to the top management body of the entire group.

The German carmaker's deliberations come as rival carmakers and suppliers including Fiat and Daimler work on ways to slim down and divest non-core assets.

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