On Friday, Volkswagen discussed extending the CEO’s contract
By Jan Schwartz
ZISLOW, Germany (Reuters) – Volkswagen’s board of directors will discuss whether to extend CEO Herbert Diess’s contract on Friday, two people familiar with the matter told Reuters.
The meeting, at which, according to sources, the executive board could decide on a two-year extension for Diess until 2025, takes place just a few days before Volkswagen’s strategy day, which is planned for July 13.
A new contract was to take place shortly after Diess’ long-term opponent Bernd Osterloh resigned as chairman of the works council and took on a management position at Volkswagen’s Traton truck division.
Diess, whose current contract runs until April 2023, asked for an early extension at the end of last year in order to get more support for his reform efforts from Europe’s top automobile manufacturers, but encountered resistance from powerful union leaders, including Osterloh.
A firm decision has not yet been made and there is no guarantee that the supervisory board will reach an agreement in its meeting on Friday, it said. Some details still need to be worked out.
A spokesman for the Volkswagen supervisory board did not want to comment.
An extension would give Diess the mandate to meet Volkswagen’s stated aim of becoming the world’s largest electric vehicle manufacturer by the middle of the decade and overtaking its main rival Tesla.
Diess, a former BMW executive, joined Volkswagen’s board of directors in July 2015 before becoming CEO in April 2018 and has been the main driver in the group’s efforts to transform itself.
(Additional reporting by Ilona Wissenbach and Christoph Steitz; editing by Kirsten Donovan)