Volkswagen mulls replacing chief exec amid management shake-up

Volkswagen mulls replacing chief exec amid management shake-up

Volkswagen mulls replacing chief exec amid management shake-up

Handelsblatt understands Mueller will be replaced by Herbert Diess, who now heads up the Volkswagen passenger vehicle brand.

The 64-year-old Mueller, always a reluctant CEO who had grown tired of the regular grillings by board members, responded during the talks by signaling he was prepared to step aside, they said. The shares jumped as much as 4.7%.

"Diess will hold both positions, CEO of the company and the VW brand", one of the sources said, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the subject.

Chairman Hans Dieter Poetsch is in discussions with "certain members" of the firm's supervisory board and management board. VW officials had no statement beyond the two-paragraph filing. Prior to joining the Wolfsburg-based automaker in 2015, Diess was BMW's head of development, and is widely credited with slashing costs. Amid opposition from labour leaders, Mueller failed to sell motorbike maker Ducati past year.

"I don't see an obvious trigger that would have prompted this", said Christian Ludwig, an analyst at Bankhaus Lampe. Mueller took over at VW in September 2015, a week after news of company's diesel emissions scandal broke.

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Despite facing billions in fines, vehicle refits and lawsuits relating to its "dieselgate" scandal, Volkswagen's operating results have been robust, with sales and profit hitting record highs previous year.

The CEO has denied any knowledge of the automaker's scheme to cheat diesel emission tests for a number of years. Porsche said separately any changes at VW would have a knock-on effect for it.

Mueller has been accused of a weakness in his decision-making at Europe's biggest vehicle manufacturer, a source close to the supervisory board told dpa.

The company said in its statement on Tuesday that it was considering changes to its complicated management structure.

The German business publication believes Mueller's ouster is being engineered by the company's major shareholders, including the Porsche and Piech families, the German state of Lower Saxony, and Qatar, who are all keen for a reboot after the Dieselgate affair.

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