Dr. Herbert Diess appointed as new Volkswagen CEO

Dr. Herbert Diess appointed as new Volkswagen CEO

Dr. Herbert Diess appointed as new Volkswagen CEO

Volkswagen replaced Mr Mueller after he failed to refocus the group's portfolio of auto brands and transform the company into a leader in cleaner cars after the diesel emissions scandal of 2015.

Volkswagen announced on Tuesday it was considering reshuffling its board and replacing Mueller, in a move that sent stocks in the company surging. Garcia Sanz, who was head of procurement, has left the company and Ralf Brandstätter, board of management member responsible for procurement for the VW brand, will take on this additional role provisionally.

Dressed in a dark blue suit and a burgundy tie, Diess and chairman Hans Dieter Poetsch were the only executives to field questions about the carmaker, even though VW announced a raft of new appointments on Thursday.

Germany's Handelsblatt business publication and the national Bild daily reported that Mueller would be replaced as early as Friday by Diess, a former BMW executive who joined Volkswagen in 2015.

Herbert Diess has taken charge of the Volkswagen Group as its new CEO, and will also continue to serve as Volkswagen's brand chief.

VW's powerful labour chiefs took pains to endorse the new boss ahead of Friday's news conference.

Diess promised to push on with "cultural change" in the company that suffered its deepest crisis when it had to admit in 2015 that it installed software in 11 million diesel vehicles worldwide to cheat on emissions test.

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But he has himself landed in prosecutors' sights over suspicions he may have known about the cheating before it became public and failed in his duty to inform investors. Inquiries about the diesel VW scandal is still going on.

"It's right for VW to look in a new direction", judged analyst Juergen Pieper of Metzler bank.

Shares in Volkswagen climbed 1.7% to ß176.06 (R2 603) in late morning trade in Frankfurt, vastly outperforming the Dax index of leading shares that was up just 0.1%. Mueller had been tapped as CEO unexpectedly in September 2015 when Martin Winterkorn resigned over the scandal in which the company had rigged carts to cheat on USA emissions tests.

The carmaker remains mired in legal woes overseas and in its home market, where it also faces possible diesel bans in some smog-clogged inner cities, a prospect that has already depressed resale prices to the chagrin of millions of owners of diesel vehicles.

Diess, who has been head of the VW brand since moving from BMW in 2015, will also assume direct responsibility for research and development and vehicle connectivity.

Since coming to Volkswagen in July, 2015, Diess has had the hard task of negotiating restructuring and cost-cutting with German worker representatives as head of the core Volkswagen nameplate.

Since then, Diess has worked to cut costs and increase profits at the core Volkswagen brand.

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