Volkswagen is shaking its leadership. The carmaker has announced that CEO Herbert Diess will be leaving at the end of August. Porsche CEO Oliver Blume will assume the function (while retaining his previous position) on September 1st. The company didn’t explain Diess’ exit but said the move was the result of a “mutual agreement”.
Diess has a somewhat mixed track record. He replaced former boss Martin Winterkorn as the Dieselgate emissions cheating scandal unfolded in 2015 and was expected to help VW get through a dark chapter in its history. In 2019, however, German prosecutors charged Diess with stock manipulation because he allegedly delayed reports of the fraud to minimize the impact on the company’s shares. Diess’ lawyer claimed that the board came too late to VW to understand the impact of the scandal, but the allegations nonetheless tarnished the boss’s reputation.
At the same time, there is little doubt that Diess oversaw an important moment in VW history. He helped the company transition to electric vehicles and self-driving cars. He also prepared for the decline in car ownership by promoting mobility services. Much of VW’s business still depends on vehicles with conventional internal combustion engines, but electric vehicles are now expected to account for half of its sales by 2030. While the Dieselgate-era VW clung to the past, Diess’ company braced itself for the future.
Don’t expect a radical change under Blume. The new CEO will “drive forward” the transformation that largely began under Diess, according to VW. Blume may be acting as a steward in this regard, but that won’t necessarily be an issue as the company continues to expand and improve its electric vehicle offering.
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https://www.engadget.com/vw-chairman-herbert-diess-departure-184924777.html?src=rss VW chairman Herbert Diess will leave the company in August