Volkswagen CEO could be out in shock management shakeup


The shares jumped as much as 4.7%.

Critics said that, as a longtime insider, Mr. Müller lacked the credibility needed to force change within Volkswagen. The statement, peppered with conjunctives, didn't specify whether that meant replacing Mueller or simply a shift in responsibilities.

On the basis of these considerations, the chairman of the supervisory board of Volkswagen is now in discussions with certain members of the management. VW officials had no statement beyond the two-paragraph filing.

Prior to joining VW, Diess was an executive at BMW.

"The Volkswagen brand's first-quarter delivery results are very encouraging". Amid opposition from labour leaders, Mueller failed to sell motorbike maker Ducati previous year.

"The potential change in CEO comes as a surprise", Christian Ludwig, a Bankhaus Lampe analyst, said by phone.

Under Mueller - who was promoted to the top job in the chaotic days following the public disclosure of cheating in emissions tests - VW has weathered the blows from the scandal while at the same time embarking on an aggressive expansion into electric cars.

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As part of the streamlining plan, Volkswagen tried to sell motorbike manufacturer Ducati previous year, but failed in the face of opposition from labour union leaders.

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 motorcycle brand Ducati. A veteran of the company, he had previously served as head of Porsche. Porsche said in a separate release that any changes at VW would be reflected in its management.

On Wednesday four sources close to the company told Reuters that the supervisory board would seek to bring works council executive Gunnar Kilian onto the company's management board to try to secure backing for Diess and his plans.

Today, Volkswagen Group announced it is considering personnel changes as part of a management reporting the company is seeking to replace current VW Group CEO Matthias Mueller with Herbert Diess, current head of the Volkswagen brand.

A representative of the German state of Lower Saxony, another of the largest shareholders, was not immediately available for comment on the appointment.

While Mueller is a lifelong VW veteran, at times he cut an uneasy figure as CEO, which required him to manage the often contradictory demands of angry auto owners, disgruntled investors, well organized workers, and state officials with their own political agendas.

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