Last week, Volkswagen Group instituted a monumental shift not only in its management structure but also how it operates as a business overall. The company named Herbert Diess the group’s new CEO, replacing Matthias Mueller. Now, according to Automotive News, Diess will likely take control of Audi’s supervisory board as Audi’s chairman.
Automobilwoche, a German magazine reported Diess wants to become Audi’s chairman; however, the publication did not name a source, according to Automotive News. Traditionally, the VW Group CEO also leads Audi’s supervisory board
"The supervisory board will take a decision on the chair at its next meeting," a spokesman for Audi told the publication, without elaborating.
Diess, who came to VW Group as the Volkswagen brand’s CEO in 2015, is a former executive at BMW, a rival of Audi. Audi’s board will meet May 8, one day before the brand’s annual general meeting, where Diess is expected to formally replace Mueller, according to sources who spoke with Automotive News.
The changes in leadership come as VW Group looks to restructure its brands into six new business areas. For example, VW Group’s car brands, including Volkswagen, Audi, Porsche, Bentley, Skoda, will fall into three new groups – Volume, Premium, and Super Premium. VW Group will also have a separate business area dedicated to the Chinese market with another dedicated to its Truck & Bus division. With the restructuring, VW Group’s board members thought it was best to name a new CEO to lead the overhaul.
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Diess, 59, who came to lead the Volkswagen brand in 2015, is highly regarded by VW board members. Colleagues describe him as “ambitious and power hungry.” He began his career at Bosch before landing at BMW. He left the Munich-based company one year after rival Harald Krüger was given the top job in 2014. Diess joined VW just before the Dieselgate scandal became international news. Seen as how he was a new employee to the company, he wasn’t tainted with suspicion about what he knew regarding the scandal. Even with millions of dollars in fines piling up, Diess has been able to keep VW profitable.
The Volkswagen board has a lot of trust in Diess who was able to come in and keep the company afloat during troubled times. Now, the board is hoping he can continue repairing VW Group’s reputation while continuing to grow the company’s success with its diverse portfolio.
Source: Automotive News