Diess Out as VW Group CEO, Succeeded by Porsche CEO Blume

Raymond S. Hughes

Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess will stop his tumultuous tenure at the helm of the German automotive giant Sept. 1, handing the reins above to Oliver Blume, currently the CEO of Porsche.

Diess shareholder meeting three
VW CEO Herbert Diess consistently obtained assistance from the Porsche and Piech households, including his intense EV options — until eventually now.

Diess will leave by “mutual arrangement,” VW claimed in a assertion asserting the transition. The govt, who has been in seemingly constant conflict with the automaker’s strong German union, was pressured to relinquish his title as main executive of the Volkswagen model in 2020.

The query is what type of changes in technique may possibly be produced by Blume. He is predicted to truly feel the same pressures from union leaders to roll back Volkswagen’s additional than $100 billion transition to battery-electrical vehicles — a transfer Diess acknowledged will price tag work. The outgoing main executive also set in movement options for a Porsche IPO, nevertheless Blume had been a backer of that program.

“Diess played a critical function in advancing the transformation of the enterprise,” Volkswagen claimed in a assertion. “The Team and its brand names are viable for the future its innovative capabilities and earning energy are strengthened. Mr. Diess impressively demonstrated the velocity at which and regularity with which he was able to carry out considerably-reaching transformation processes. Not only did he steer the business by really turbulent waters, but he also executed a essentially new approach.”

Using the rollercoaster

Blume in 911 Targa 2022
Porsche CEO Oliver Blume will acquire around for Diess Sept. 1. He will stay CEO at the sports activities car maker as effectively.

The 63-year-old govt has been on a roller-coaster journey since joining Volkswagen in 2015, just months before the automaker’s diesel emissions scandal broke. He subsequently was prosecuted — but avoided conviction — for allegedly failing to disclose aspects of the affair to stockholders.

In 2018, Diess was stated as one particular of the “Best CEOs in the world” by CEOWorld journal. He also took heat previously this 12 months for pushing the EU to negotiate a peace offer with Russia right after its invasion of Ukraine, anything he said was necessary to secure European trade pursuits.

But Diess’s greatest obstacle was dealing with IG Metallic, the powerful German trade union. With seats on the automaker’s supervisory board, it aggressively resisted the CEO’s push to electrify — and the obvious decline of union positions that would final result in. He had indicated as many as 30,000 VW positions could finally be lower.

“The dynamics of modify in the automotive market are massive … The decisions taken today will make it possible for us to retain up the rate and exploit the guide we have carved out.” claimed Joerg Hofmann, president of IG Metall, and deputy chairman of the VW supervisory board, in a statement Friday.

Diess was compelled to relinquish his situation as manufacturer CEO in 2020, but he held on as main government, mostly because of to the aid of the Porsche and Piech people — heirs to Volkswagen founder Ferdinand Piech.

Herbert Diess, CEO Volkswagen Group
Diess drew hearth from the energy German employees union for his drive into EVs, which call for much less staff.

Critical challenges continue being for Blume

There seems minimal chance that, as CEO, Blume will make rapid cuts in an EV application that is anticipated to deliver as a lot of as 50 all-electric powered designs to sector by 2025 by way of the Volkswagen Group’s a lot of makes. Some, notably together with high-line Audi and Bentley, have laid out plans to go 100% electric in the coming decade.

The other dilemma is irrespective of whether the IPO for Porsche predicted afterwards this year could be impacted, various analysts claimed. But Reuters quoted “a source close to” the program as saying, “I know Blume generally also pushed for the IPO. So really do not imagine they’ll reverse the selection.”

Diess’s compelled resignation appears to have followed a reduction of aid by the Porsche and Piech people. Along with the turmoil about the electrification program, one more aspect might have shifted their positon: the continued decline in the automaker’s stock price tag around the past 18 months.

A “well-deserved break” that will final more time than envisioned

The Bavarian-born Diess himself had elevated problems by suggesting VW was dropping ground to chief EV rival Tesla. Ironically, VW holds a 25% share of the quick-expanding European battery-automobile industry, with Tesla at just 13 %. But the U.S. manufacturer recently opened a new manufacturing facility in Berlin, hardly an hour absent from Volkswagen headquarter in Wolfsburg, that is envisioned to aid it speedily mature its European share.

How unexpected the shakeup at Volkswagen came on is unclear but previously on Friday, Reuters pointed out, Diess had posted a remark on LinkedIn which hinted at the force he was facing, noting “After a seriously stressful to start with 50 % of 2022 quite a few of us are hunting ahead to a well-deserved summer months crack.”

He’ll now have all the time off he dreams, barring a new occupation provide.

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