Volkswagen to change CEO and style with departure of Diess
Volkswagen has unexpectedly announced that its CEO Herbert Diess will step down in a few weeks after four years at the head of the German auto giant as it attempts an ambitious shift towards electric vehicles.
Diess’s will leave the helm from the top of the world’s second-largest automaker “by mutual consent” on September 1, Volkswagen said in a statement.
The outgoing CEO had been in the hot seat at Volkswagen for months amid clashes with workers’ representatives and a nagging troubles at the group’s software division.
The change at the top comes as Volkswagen is aiming to leave behind combustion engines to become the world’s biggest electric car manufacturer by 2025 - a target boosted by Diess himself.
The reins will be taken by Oliver Blume, the current boss of the Porsche sports cars, part of the Volkswagen family of 12 brands, which also includes the likes of Skoda and Audi.
The switch was decided at a meeting of the group supervisory board.
Diess took over Volkswagen in 2018, tasked with turning the page once and for good on the 2015 “dieselgate” scandal, where Volkswagen tampered with millions of diesel vehicles to dupe emissions tests.
Under Diess, Volkswagen has backed its electric shift with a total of 46 billion euros ($46.8 billion) in planned investments over the next five years.