Volkswagen informed its employees this Thursday that the new VW CEO, Herbert Diess, has been brought along by the brand’s Chairman of the Board of Directors, Martin Winterkorn, in an attempt to remove any signs of rivalry between the two execs as the carmaker is looking to get away from its leadership crisis.
Diess and Winterkorn have to deliver a plan to reduce $5.6 billion in annual costs from Volkswagen’s brand operations by 2017, which will have to include cutting costs from unions and political leaders. Let’s see how that goes! VW has publicly left the impression that Diess was brought to VW from BMW by Winterkorn, instead of the former chairman Ferdinand Piech. In fact, Piech, who was not satisfied with Winterkorn’s performance, recommended Diess for the job back in December. In a turn of events, Piech was ousted in April after a public feud with Winterkorn.
In an online interview, Diess praised Winterkorn on his leadership skills, saying he is looking forward to work with him and the automaker’s labor representatives.
“I highly value Herrn Winterkorn. Under his leadership the company and the brand developed greatly. We will continue our efficiency program, to make Volkswagen fit for the future“, Diess said.
When he was heading the procurement and purchasing at BMW, Diess’s policies helped the German carmaker meet its profit targets even with the financial crisis leading to a decline in the demand for luxury cars.
Volkswagen managers have not managed so far to implement the company’s $5.6 billion plan in cuts because of strong opposition from the company’s labor representatives who have objected to job losses in Germany.
By Gabriela Florea