The Volkswagen Group has confirmed that it will extensively revise its management structure. This is to “systematically (continue) to transform its business and establishing even more efficient Group management in a phase of highly dynamic change in the company and the entire automotive industry,” the group said in a statement.
Matthias Müller will now step down as group CEO and chairman of the board of management effective immediately, and will be succeeded by Herbert Diess, chairman of the board at the Volkswagen brand. Additionally, Porsche chief executive officer Oliver Blume has been appointed to the group board of management, while head of procurement Dr. Francisco Javier Garcia Sanz leaves the company at his own request.
“Matthias Müller has done outstanding work for the Volkswagen Group. He assumed the chairmanship of the Board of Management in the fall of 2015 when the Company faced the greatest challenge in its history,” said chairman of the supervisory board, Hans Dieter Pötsch.
“Not only did he safely navigate Volkswagen through that time; together with his team, he also fundamentally realigned the Group’s strategy, initiated cultural change and, with great personal commitment, made sure that the Volkswagen Group not just stayed on track but is now more robust than ever before. For that, he is due the thanks of the entire Company,” he continued.
New brand groups Volume, Premium and Super Premium have been introduced, along with planned preparation for the Truck Bus division’s capital market readiness is aimed at creating a basis for a more subsidiary leadership of the Volkswagen Group, the statement read.
The reorganisation of the group’s leadership will see chairman Diess responsible for group development and research, Rupert Stadler for group sales and Blume for group production. Further functions within the group will be allocated as well; vehicle IT will be lead by Diess, while company IT will be led by Frank Witter. The procurement and components units will be combined into one.
“The Volkswagen Group’s goal is and remains to align the Company and its brands with future needs, to safeguard its position among the leaders of the international automotive industry with innovativeness and profitability and to be instrumental in shaping tomorrow’s personal mobility with the strength of our Group brands,” said chairman of the supervisory board Pötsch.
“Herbert Diess is the right manager to do that. In realigning the Volkswagen brand, he has demonstrated to impressive effect the speed and rigour with which he can implement radical transformation processes. This accomplishment makes him predestined to fully implement our Strategy 2025 in the decisive years that are now to follow,” Pötsch says.
Additionally, Gunnar Killian has been appointed to the group board of management for human resources, previously serving as secretary-general of the Volkswagen group works council. Killian takes over from Dr. Karlheinz Blessing, who served in the role from the start of 2016.
Blessing leaves the board by mutual agreement, though he continues to be available to the company in a consultative capacity for the rest of his contract. The role of head of procurement vacated by Dr. Garcia Sanz will be filled by Ralf Brandstätter, board of management member responsible for procurement for the VW brand, and will take on this additional role provisionally.