VW set to replace CEO in management overhaul

UPDATE: Volkswagen puts new CEO in driver's seat

Volkswagen Group has ousted CEO Matthias Müller and replaced him with Herbert Diess, previously CEO of the Volkswagen brand within the larger 12-brand corporation.

Blessing's removal will be part of a broader reshuffle that could affect other senior executives, the source said.

Volkswagen, which has a history of rocky management handovers, has made a decision to replace Matthias Mueller, 64, with the 59-year-old Diess, according to people familiar with the matter, who asked not to be identified speaking ahead of an official announcement. The scandal has cost the company over $30 billion.

Nevertheless, Diess had already secured the support of Osterloh, as well as the Porsche-Piech industrialist family which owns a controlling majority of Volkswagen shares. Amid opposition from labour leaders, he failed to sell motorbike maker Ducati a year ago.

Mueller, a former chief executive of sportscar-building VW subsidiary Porsche AG, was brought in to replace Martin Winterkorn in 2015 and was contracted to serve until 2020.

Volkswagen, the world's biggest carmaker by volume, has been saddled with the fallout of a global diesel emissions scandal that emerged in 2015 and led to multibillion-dollar lawsuits in several countries, in particular in the US.

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Diess's appointment comes two days after a company statement that was as surprising as it was cryptic, saying that Mueller had agreed "in principle" to contribute to a management change, without elaborating or mentioning his chosen successor by name.

The announcement was made after Volkswagen directors ousted Mueller and deliberated ways to reform an empire which has motorbike, bus, truck and passenger auto brands including Ducati, Bentley, Porsche, Audi, Scania and Skoda.

Labour representatives at Volkswagen VOWG_p.DE are concerned by a sudden rush by the German carmaker's board to approve sweeping changes on Thursday, sources said, while Handelsblatt reported that its finance chief could step down.

VW brand chief Herbert Diess presented the I.D. Buzz Concept vehicle in Detroit on Monday.

"Diess will hold both positions, CEO of the company and the VW brand", one of the sources said, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the subject. He and Mr Mueller instead agreed to guarantee VW's German jobs until 2025, to get labour approval for a plan to turn the company into a mass producer of electric cars.

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