Germany’s Volkswagen Ag has turned to Daimler manager Christine Hohmann-Dennhardt to handle the newly created position of board member for integrity and legal affairs, in a bid to mitigate the effects of the broad diesel emissions scandal.
Europe’s largest automaker announced recently that Hohmann-Dennhardt, who occupied a similar position at German competitor Daimler AG since 2011, would assume her duties with the company starting next year. Volkswagen acknowledged last month it had purposely rigged diesel emissions tests via the use of illegal software in the United States, triggering the biggest crisis in its 78-year history. The associated scandal has taken away almost 30 percent of the company’s market value and forced long-running CEO Martin Winterkorn out of the company. Now, numerous regulatory probes and lawsuits are being pursued all over the world.
Daimler announced it decided to allow Hohmann-Dennhardt to end her contract at the company early to pursue the job position at VW AG. “Daimler is helping VW build rebuild trust in the German car industry,” commented Ferdinand Dudenhoeffer, head of the Center of Automotive Research at the University of Duisburg-Essen. “It’s an important step to help VW clean up the affair.” Ahead of her position at Daimler, Hohmann-Dennhardt, 65, was a judge of the federal constitutional court and also held political positions in the German state of Hesse. The move is also important for the company, which has a strong tradition of rather promoting executives from within its ranks instead of resorting to outsiders for senior positions, which attracted heavy criticism from certain investors because of recent events.