The Volkswagen global emission
scandal involving diesel engine powered VW cars took its first major toll on
September 23, 2015 with Prof. Dr. Martin Winterkorn, CEO of Volkswagen AG
resigning from his post. In a statement, Dr Winterkorn said, "I am shocked
by the events of the past few days. Above all, I am stunned that misconduct on
such a scale was possible in the Volkswagen Group. As CEO I accept
responsibility for the irregularities that have been found in diesel engines
and have therefore requested the Supervisory Board to agree on terminating my
function as CEO of the Volkswagen Group. I am doing this in the interests of
the company even though I am not aware of any wrong doing on my part.
Read: Volkswagen sets aside $ 7.2 billion towards rectifying emission glitches
Accepting Dr. Winterkorn’s
resignation, the Executive Committee of the Supervisory Board of Volkswagen AG
noted that the “The Executive Committee has great respect for Chairman Professor
Dr. Winterkorn's offer to resign his position and to ask that his employment
agreement be terminated. The Executive Committee notes that Professor Dr.
Winterkorn had no knowledge of the manipulation of emissions data. The
Executive Committee has tremendous respect for his willingness to nevertheless
assume responsibility and, in so doing, to send a strong signal both internally
and externally. Dr. Winterkorn has made invaluable contributions to Volkswagen.
The company's rise to global company is inextricably linked to his name. The
Executive Committee thanks Dr. Winterkorn for towering contributions in the
past decades and for his willingness to take responsibility in this criticall
phase for the company. This attitude is illustrious.”
Dr Winterkorn stated that “Volkswagen
needs a fresh start – also in terms of personnel. I am clearing the way for
this fresh start with my resignation. I have always been driven by my desire to
serve this company, especially our customers and employees. Volkswagen has
been, is and will always be my life.”
He further added that the process
of clarification and transparency must continue. This is the only way to win
back trust. I am convinced that the Volkswagen Group and its team will overcome
this grave crisis."
In a meeting on September 23,
the Executive Committee of the Supervisory Board of Volkswagen AG discussed in
detail the manipulation of emissions data of Volkswagen Group diesel engines
and came to several conclusions, some of which were:
--The Executive Committee
takes this matter extremely seriously.
The Executive Committee recognizes not only the economic damage caused,
but also the loss of trust among many customers worldwide.
-- The Executive Committee
agrees that these incidents need to be clarified with great conviction and that
mistakes are corrected. At the same
time, the Executive Committee is adamant that it will take the necessary
decisive steps to ensure a credible new beginning.
--Recommendations for new
personnel will be presented at the upcoming meeting of the Supervisory Board
this Friday(September 25).
--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 have resulted in immeasurable harm for Volkswagen, will be
subject to the full consequences.
-- The Executive Committee
have decided that the company will voluntarily submit a complaint to the State
Prosecutors' office in Brunswick. In the view of the Executive Committee
criminal proceedings may be relevant due to the irregularities. The
investigations of the State Prosecutor will be supported in all form from the
side of Volkswagen.
--The Executive Committee proposes
that the Supervisory Board of Volkswagen AG create a special committee, under
whose leadership further clarifying steps will follow, including the
preparation of the necessary consequences. In this regard, the Special
Committee would make use of external advice. Further details about this will be
decided at the Supervisory Board meeting on Friday.
-- The Executive Committee is
aware that coming to terms with the crisis of trust will be a long term task
that requires a high degree of consistency and thoroughness.
--The Executive Committee will
work on these tasks together with the employees and the Management Board.
Volkswagen is a magnificent company that depends on the efforts of hundreds of
thousands of people. We consider it our task that this company regains the
trust of our customers in every respect.