The diesel emissions rigging disaster has seen a hard week for the world’s largest (interim) automaker by sales, Volkswagen AG, which saw its CEO Martin Winterkorn leave his post for Matthias Mueller to occupy.
Mueller is a VW AG insider and company veteran, previously charged with leading the successful Porsche division – the sports car manufacturer has the best earnings margin in the industry – and has now come to helm the group that spans everything from motorcycles to big trucks amid a scandal described by the chairman as a “moral and political disaster”. The 62-year-old Mueller was presented as the new chief executive officer during a news conference at company headquarters in Wolfsburg on Friday, commenting that his first order of business is to endure the fallout from the emissions cheating – which led to long-time CEO Martin Winterkorn resigning earlier last week and the stock taking a massive dive.
Under my leadership, Volkswagen will do all it can to develop and implement the strictest compliance and governance standards in the whole industry,” commented Mueller.
Acting chairman Berthold Huber also took the time to apologize to “our customers, the public, authorities and investors” and called the time to allow VW to make amends on the damage it inflicted. He added that certain employees have been put on leave until all the details of the internal probe are cleared up. The company also later announced it would lower the head count of its management board and eliminate the position of production chief. The host of changes will need to get approved through an extraordinary general meeting scheduled on November 9 in Berlin.