Volkswagen CEO Resigns in Surprise Move

Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess announced on Friday that he will leave his post in a surprise move, effective on September 1.

Oliver Blume, the head of Volkswagen’s Porsche performance car division, will take over Diess in his post.

Hans Dieter Pötsch, chairman of the company’s board, said Herbert Diess played a vital role in advancing the company’s transformation.

“Herbert Diess played a key role in advancing the transformation of the company. The group and its brands are viable for the future; its innovative capabilities and earning power are strengthened. Not only did he steer the company through extremely turbulent waters, but he also implemented a fundamentally new strategy,” Pötsch said.

However, unnamed Volkswagen sources said Porsche and Piech’s families pressed for a change in leadership.

“Diess was incorrigible. He significantly changed Volkswagen for the better. But his communication was miserable,” one Volkswagen source said.

Volkswagen is further along than most traditional automakers in its planned transition to electric vehicles, but it has fallen further behind Toyota in total vehicle sales.

In 2021, Toyota reported 10.5 million total car sales, outpacing Volkswagen by more than 1.5 million.

Volkswagen shares have also lagged under Diess, gaining only about 10% since his appointment as the company’s CEO in 2018.

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