According to a Volkswagen Group Press Release, Porsche boss Matthias Müller has been appointed Volkswagen Group CEO. Volkswagen’s 20-member board supported Müller for the position in the wake of the brand’s TDI scandal and Martin Winterkorn’s resignation.
Though Winterkorn claimed he was unaware of the emissions-cheating devices placed in VW, Audi, (and possibly Porsche) TDI engines, and the VW Group affirmed his innocence, the Group’s leader decided to abdicate his authority.
Müller has a rich history with Volkswagen as well, having worked for several VW Group departments since the 1970s. His extensive experience and ties to the Porsche-Piech family apparently led to his nomination and support.
The interim Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Volkswagen AG, Berthold Huber, underscored: “Matthias Müller is a person of great strategic, entrepreneurial and social competence. He knows the Group and its brands well and can immediately engage in his new task with full energy. We expressly value his critical and constructive approach.”
In related news, several high profile VW Group R&D executives have been canned. Heinz-Jakob Neusser, Ulrich Hackenberg, and Wolfgang Hatz (Volkswagen, Audi and Porsche, respectively) have been let go, while the U.S.’s Michael Horn is expected to be replaced by current Skoda chief Winfried Vahland.
Volkswagen Group confirmed the personnel changes publicly today after a meeting with the automaker’s supervisory board.
“The Executive Committee is expecting further personnel consequences in the next days. The internal Group investigations are continuing at a high tempo. All participants in these proceedings that has resulted in unmeasurable harm for Volkswagen, will be subject to the full consequences,” Volkswagen’s Executive Committee said in a summary statement Thursday.
Presently, there are a couple other Volkswagen Group engines under investigation for the same defeat device, including the 1.6-liter four-cylinder and 3.0-liter V6 turbodiesel mills. Should those powerplants be found to commit the same crimes, VW Group’s affected vehicles, fines, and layoffs will surely increase.