As a fallout of the massive US
emission scandal involving Volkswagen, the Volkswagen Supervisory Board not
only restructured the Volkswagen group but also recommended the immediate
suspension of some of its employees as well as rope in German and US lawyers to
objectively investigate and fully clarify the manipulation that led to the
The Supervisory Board has
authorised the Chairman of the Group to mandate German and US lawyers to
objectively investigate and fully clarify the manipulation of emissions data of
The Executive Committee of the
Supervisory Board will be charged with coordinating and safeguarding all necessary
steps to monitor clarification until such time as a proposed committee
commences its work.
With the information currently
available the Supervisory Board has also recommended the immediate suspension
of some employees. This process is already underway.
While Matthias Müller will
lead the Volkswagen Group going forward as the new CEO of Volkswagen AG, the Supervisory
Board resolved to propose to the Extraordinary Meeting of Shareholders on
November 9, 2015 to elect Hans Dieter Pötsch as a member of the Supervisory
Board. The Supervisory Board intends to subsequently elect him as its Chairman.
Berthold Huber, Deputy
Chairman of the Supervisory Board, said: "The test manipulations are a
moral and political disaster for Volkswagen. The unlawful behaviour of
engineers and technicians involved in engine development shocked Volkswagen
just as much as it shocked the public. We can only apologise and ask our
customers, the public, the authorities and our investors to give us a chance to
make amends." The Supervisory Board today commissioned an American law
firm to assist in further clarification and in preparing the necessary steps.
Group restructured post US emissions scandal
The Supervisory Board of
Volkswagen AG approved a new management structure for the Group and the brands
as well as for the North America region on September 26, 2015 in Wolfsburg,
Germany. The interim Chairman of the Supervisory Board, Berthold Huber,
commented: "The new structure strengthens the brands and regions, gives
the Group Board of Management the necessary leeway for strategy and steering
within the company, and lays a focus on the targeted development of
of the North America region / Successor Prof. Vahland
The Supervisory Board decided
on the reorganisation of the Group's activities in North America. The markets
in the USA, Mexico, and Canada will be combined and significantly strengthened
to form a new North America region. Effective November 1, the Group's
activities in the region will be led by Prof. Dr. Winfried Vahland (58),
formerly Chairman of the Board of Directors at Škoda, who in this new role
becomes a member of the Volkswagen brand Board of Management. Prof. Vahland's
successor as Chairman of the Board of Directors at Škoda will be Bernhard Maier
(55), until now Board Member for Sales and Marketing of Porsche AG. Michael
Horn (52) remains President and CEO of Volkswagen Group of America.
group with Bentley and Bugatti
At Group level the management
structure will be oriented even more systematically to the modular toolkits.
These toolkits feature standardised technical components for each automotive
vehicle segment (volume, premium, sport and commercial vehicles). Consequently,
a Porsche brand group with Bentley and Bugatti will be established for the
sportscar and mid-engine toolkit. The toolkit strategy will come under the even
closer guidance of the Group CEO; a separate department will be set up for this
purpose. The Audi brand group with Lamborghini and Ducati will be continued as
will the Truck Holding, and the Power Engineering and Financial Services
business lines. The volume brands Volkswagen (with principal responsibility for
the modular transverse toolkit), SEAT, and Škoda will be represented by one member
each in the Group Board of Management.
functions for efficiency and future-oriented fields
Group functions will
concentrate more closely on efficiency and future-oriented fields; organisational
units, for example for Group product strategy, new business fields,
cooperations and holdings, connected car activities, and CO2 steering, will
therefore be set up. According to Huber, "new, strong Group functions,
such as for standardization and harmonized production processes, will lay the
timely foundations for efficient decision-making. We will become faster and
more agile." Furthermore, a Chief Technology Officer will analyze and, if
necessary, co-steer technical developments throughout the Group as mandated by
the Group Board of Management.
brands and regions
At the same time, existing
corporate bodies, structures and processes will be streamlined at Group level,
in particular by strengthening the brands and regional accountability. To that
end the Volkswagen brand will introduce a management structure with four
regions, each led by a local CEO with a direct reporting line to the brand
Chairman, Herbert Diess.
the Group Board of Management
The production department at
Group level, until now led by Thomas Ulbrich in an interim capacity, will be
abolished with immediate effect. This is one consequence of delegating
responsibility to the brands and regions. Berthold Huber commented: "Going
forward, the brands and regions will also have greater independence with regard
to production. So it follows that they should also hold the responsibility for
The interim Supervisory Board
Chairman emphasised that "one key point is that we are scaling back
complexity in the Group. In recent weeks, we have already undertaken important
steps such as separating Group and brand functions." He said the
developments of the last few days had underscored the urgency of this project:
"We will not lose any time. The new management model will be implemented
at the beginning of 2016." This would bring the Board greater freedom to
address urgent issues concerning Group strategy, development and steering.
of Management changes
The Supervisory Board extended
the contract with Francisco Javier Garcia Sanz (58), Member of the Board of
Management of Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft with responsibility for
Procurement, by five years.
Christian Klingler (47),
member of the Board of Management of Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft with
responsibility for Sales and Marketing and member of the Volkswagen brand Board
of Management with responsibility for Sales and Marketing, is leaving the
company with immediate effect as part of long-term planned structural changes
and as a result of differences with regard to business strategy. This is not related
to recent events. The new CEO Matthias Müller will head the Sales department at
Group level in an interim capacity until further notice.
Jürgen Stackmann (54),
previously Chairman of SEAT, will take over Christian Klingler's function as a
member of the Volkswagen brand Board of Management. Stackmann is succeeded by
Luca de Meo (48), currently Audi AG Board of Management member for Sales and
Marketing. These personnel changes become effective from October 1.
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