Volkswagen CEO Dies to step down in surprise move


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CNN Business

The CEO of Volkswagen will leave his post in a surprising move, effective September 1.

The company announced on Friday that CEO Herbert Diess will be replaced by Oliver Blume, president of Volkswagen

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Porsche performance cars division.

Volkswagen, the world’s second largest automaker, did not provide a reason for the diss to exit.

But the Reuters report Citing unnamed sources, the families of Porsche and Pech – who between themselves hold the majority of the voting rights in Volkswagen – have lobbied for a change at the helm of the company. The company did not immediately respond to a request for comment for this report.

It has been a challenging period of work for Deiss. he is Take charge At Volkswagen in 2018, in the aftermath”Dieselgate scandal Which forced the company to pay Huge US and European fines for deceptive emissions readings.

However, he managed to put that scandal mostly in the company’s rearview mirror. focus on electric car More than many well-known automakers, which puts Volkswagen in a good position big shift.

Volkswagen said it It will spend 89 billion euros Over the next five years on electric vehicle development, nearly half of the spending is planned at the time, and it aims for electric vehicles to account for a quarter of sales by the end of 2026.

The number of electric batteries Volkswagen sold nearly doubled in 2021 to nearly 453,000 globally, putting it third only to Tesla and General Motors in selling pure electric vehicles — most of the latter’s sales came from a Chinese joint venture. Volkswagen outperformed all other automakers, including Tesla, in European electric vehicle sales at 310,000.

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Tesla still sells more than twice as many pure electric cars as VW in 2021 – and electric vehicles accounted for just 5% of VWs sold last year – but the shift in focus under Deiss has been important to the company’s future plans.

“Herbert Diess has played a key role in driving the company’s transformation. The group and its brands are viable for the future; its innovation capabilities and earning power are strengthened.” Also implement a fundamentally new strategy.”

But it wasn’t all rosy. While Volkswagen may be way further behind most traditional automakers in its planned switch to electric vehicles, it has fallen further behind Toyota in the race for total vehicle sales — a key metric in the sector.

Toyota last year recorded total sales of 10.5 million vehicles in 2021, outstripping Volkswagen sales by more than 1.5 million. Before the pandemic in 2019, Volkswagen outstripped Toyota by 200,000 vehicles with 10.9 million vehicles sold.

What’s more, Volkswagen

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Shares have also tumbled under Des, having gained only about 10% since his appointment as CEO in 2018 – far less than Toyota.

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60% gain in that time. So far this year, Volkswagen

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Germany’s listed shares fell 28%.

As part of the management change, Chief Financial Officer Arno Antlitz will become chief operating officer.

CNN Business Peter Valdes Dabbana contributed to this report.

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