Volkswagen Group’s board members approved a major shift in the company’s leadership structure, assigning the company’s CEO duties to a more senior executive who will, at the same time, receive less control over the company’s day-to-day operations.
Herbert Diess, who was named CEO of the German automaker a year ago and its fifth CEO in less than two decades, will now have less influence and share the CEO responsibilities with company insiders Ferdinand Piech and Wolfgang Porsche, the board members overseeing the automaker’s long-term efforts.
According to statements released on Wednesday, Mr. Diess will continue to report to the board of directors on the company’s “important strategic matters,” though he will not have the final say over the direction and speed of Volkswagen’s major product launches.
Volkswagen has struggled to come to grips with its diesel emissions scandal, which cost the company $25 billion in fines and compensations, and to ensure that the scandal doesn’t prevent the carmaker from rising again.
The decision, which was approved unanimously, makes it easier for Mr. Diess, who has been carrying a heavy load, to focus more intently on the company’s future. By handing off some of the major responsibilities to fellow executives, the company said it had found the best “possible” way of “solidly establishing each manager’s role in the Volkswagen Group.”