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13 April 2018, 01:19 | Kenneth Drake
Volkswagen flags potential major management changes
The holding company Porsche SE also announced in a separate statement changes in its own management structure as a result from a general corporate shake up in the Volkswagen Group.
Shares in Volkswagen jumped on the news, and closed up 4.5 percent at 171.58 euros.
Volkswagen Chief Executive Officer Matthias Mueller has won wide praise for steering the carmaker through the near-death experience of cheating on diesel-emissions testing - but that wasn't enough to keep him in the job.
BMWDiess, who has been pushing for changes in the brand's structuring, joined the company in mid-2015 before the diesel scandal broke.
Under Mueller - who was promoted to the top job in the chaotic days following the public disclosure of the diesel cheating - VW has weathered the blows from the scandal while embarking on an aggressive expansion into electric cars.
Chairman Hans Dieter Poetsch is in discussions with "certain members" of the firm's supervisory board and management board. He has led the company through the scandal to record sales and strong profits.
Without citing its sources, Spiegel said Karlheinz Blessing, who was appointed management board member with responsibility for human resources on January 1, 2016, would be replaced by Gunnar Kilian, secretary general of VW's works council.
The move would be a major concession by management to worker representatives, potentially handing labour leaders insight into management plans for investments and cost cutting plans. German newspaper Der Spiegel has reported that the changes could take place as soon as Friday.
"If Diess is confirmed as the successor, VW shares will extend their gains", Evercore ISI analyst Arndt Ellinghorst said, who has an "outperform" rating on the stock. Despite the product reform, Mueller has so far struggle to make Volkswagen a more efficient and focussed company which was planned. Other potential CEO candidates include Volkswagen's trucks chief and Daimler veteran Andreas Renschler. According to the people familiar with the matter, Mr. Müller seems to have lost the trust of the controlling Porsche and Piech families over the past few months. The company declined to comment further.
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