Volkswagen AG, the largest European automaker and the second biggest in the world, has tapped the former chief executive officer at GM’s European subsidiary Opel to head its group wide strategy, revealed the company.
Thomas Sedran was the interim chief executive officer at Opel back in 2012-2013 and lead GM’s Chevrolet and Cadillac brands on the Old Continent until June this year and he will now occupy his new position with the German automaker starting next month, according to a statement from the Wolfsburg-based group. Volkswagen is shaking up its management roster and even breaks with tradition to hire outside managers – after long being criticized for only promoting talent from within. The strategy modifications comes amid the company’s largest business scandal in its 78-year history, after last month it acknowledged it had rigged diesel emissions tests in the United States. The diesel engines duped regulators about their real polluting emissions by employing illegal software – a so-called defeat device – which enabled all control systems while under testing conditions and switched them off during real world driving.
Volkswagen is now struggling to get to the bottom of the scandal and find those responsible, with numerous media reports pointing out towards numerous management suspensions, including main engineers at the luxury brands Audi and Porsche. Sedran is the second top manager to be recruited from outside the company by VW in the recent weeks, following Daimler’s executive Christine Hohmann-Dennhardt who was tapped to run compliance for the embattled group, which is under heavy regulatory scrutiny in numerous countries around the world.