VW wants to settle the power struggle, Diess remains CEO
BERLIN – The dispute between Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess and the group’s powerful works council seems to have been resolved, said a source close to the matter, which may end the recent leadership dispute over the automaker.
After lengthy negotiations, a solution had been found, according to which the 63-year-old Diess is likely to keep his job, the source said.
“It goes in the direction that the dispute will be settled and Diess remains CEO,” the source told Reuters on Monday.
As part of the solution, VW brand boss Ralf Brandstätter will become a member of the management team and Diess will focus on strategy, the source said.
Last month, German media reports said that Brandstätter would take over responsibility for the Diess mass brand group. The mass market group includes the brands VW, Skoda and Seat.
In the run-up to the VW supervisory board meeting on Thursday to agree on a five-year investment plan, the uncertainty about Diess remaining in office was clouded.
Diess’ future has been in the balance since he spoke of the risk of extensive job cuts in September.
Diess said the company’s home factory in Wolfsburg, Germany, needs to become more efficient to better compete with new industry entrants like Tesla.
The Porsche-Piech family, majority shareholders of VW, are supporting Diess against union pressure to oust him, German press reports said on Monday. Employee representatives hold half of the seats on the VW board and thus have a strong say.
Volkswagen and Porsche SE, the family holding company with 53 percent of VW, did not want to comment.
Automotive News Europe contributed to this report