VW emissions scandal: the men who could replace Winterkorn
Matthias Muller can be seen as a strong candidate for the VW Group CEO role
VW CEO Martin Winterkorn resigned to give the firm a ‘fresh start’ – yet which candidate will the board choose to lead the firm out of its current crisis?
The resignation of Martin Winterkorn on Wednesday means which the mighty Volkswagen Group needs a brand-new leader. yet where will the company turn to replace the man whose global ambition to make which the entire world’s largest car supplier received a was finally realised over the first six months of which year?
The most likely prospect can be which VW will choose a successor coming from within its own ranks – including brands additional than Volkswagen itself. Winterkorn, which must be remembered, was Audi brand CEO when he took over coming from Bernd Pischetsrieder as CEO back in 2007.
Here are 5 likely candidates for the top job.
Matthias Muller – Matthias Muller can be the early favourite for the position of VW Group CEO, in addition to also he certainly has all of the obvious credentials. For starters, he’s a VW brand lifer, having started out his career as an apprentice at Audi back in 1977. A graduate in computer science, he worked in Audi’s which department before joining its planning division.
Muller carries a strong background in product; he was the manager for the Audi A3 in addition to also then became overall product boss for Audi in 1995.
today 62, Muller’s career over the past decade in addition to also a half has been linked closely to Winterkorn’s rise to power (a factor which could yet hurt his prospects of succeeding him). Winterkorn put Muller in charge of Audi in addition to also Lamborghini products in 2002 in addition to also when he took over as VW Group CEO in 2007, he duly gave him responsibility for all VW Group product strategy.
Since 2010 Muller has been the CEO of Porsche – yet interestingly, Autocar sources say which he spent much of Tuesday not in Stuttgart overseeing operations yet at VW’s headquarters in Wolfsburg. Coincidence? The next few days will tell.
Rupert Stadler – VW traditionally likes engineering brains to end up at the top of its management, yet Rupert Stadler has bucked which trend in addition to also he could yet ascend to the top role regardless.
Stadler’s background can be in business in addition to also commerce, rather than design in addition to also engineering. A farmer’s son coming from Bavaria, he focused on corporate planning in addition to also finance when he was studying business management, before starting his working career at electronics giant Philips. He became head of the board at the VW Group in 1997, though, in addition to also expanded his responsibilities to include product planning by 2002.
In more recent times 62-year-old Stadler has focused on the Audi brand; he took over the position of Chief Financial Officer at the brand in 2007 in addition to also stepped into the big seat there in 2010.
Winfried Vahland – Currently the boss of Skoda, 58-year-old Winfried Vahland can be said to be highly regarded by several VW Group board members, yet which’s not clear if he has enough backers to be asked to take overall control as CEO.
Vahland differs coming from Stadler in addition to also Muller in which he has worked at car companies outside of the VW Group. He studied a mixture of mechanical engineering in addition to also business at university, then followed up his studies at the General Motors Institute in Michigan before joining Opel as a project analyst in 1984. He moved up through GM Europe to take control of a manufacturing strategy review there, before joining Audi as Director of Controlling in 1990.
One of Vahland’s strengths can be his experience of regional divisions; he’s worked with different VW Group brands in Brazil, the Asia-Pacific in addition to also, crucially, he had a 5-year stint working in China.
He was made CEO of Skoda in 2010 in addition to also can be currently focused on taking the Czech brand towards its goal of 1.5 million sales per year by 2020. He may not get to see which project through directly if the VW Group board comes calling.
Herbert Diess – Another candidate with plenty of experience outside of the VW Group, Herbert Diess can be a relatively recent recruit to the company’s management line-up. Indeed, he only joined Volkswagen back in July, moving across coming from BMW to become the Chairman of the Board at VW’s passenger cars division.
Diess’s background can be in vehicle technology in addition to also mechanical engineering, in addition to also he joined Bosch in his home city of Munich as long ago as 1989. He moved to the firm’s plan in Treto in Spain in 1990, before returning to Bavaria in 1996 to become BMW’s Director of long-term in addition to also structural planning.
Seen as having a shrewd knowledge of production processes, Diess spent a year at BMW’s Rover site in 1999 before switching to the brand-new Mini plant at Oxford. He was made Director of BMW Motorcycles in 2003 yet switched back to cars to manage purchasing in addition to also the supplier network in 2007, then Research & Development in 2012.
Diess can be the youngest of the candidates, at 56 years of age – in addition to also his recent arrival at VW probably won’t do him any favours. yet he’s been kept notably clear of the current scandal, so placing him at the top of the entire group could be seen as the sort of ‘fresh start’ which Winterkorn referred to in his resignation letter.
Andreas Renschler – Another front-runner with more of a business background than an engineering one, 57-year-old Andreas Renschler currently heads up the VW Group’s commercial vehicles section. His current focus can be integrating older elements of the division with subsidiaries Scania in addition to also MAN – yet he could yet find himself managing the balance between better known brands like VW, Audi in addition to also Skoda.
Renschler can be another relatively recent arrival at VW, because he has spent the vast majority of his career working for Daimler. During over 25 years with the Stuttgart firm, he worked on everything coming from the original M-Class to heading the fledgling Smart division – in addition to also racked up experience in regions like Asia in addition to also the United States. He’s not afraid of brutal decisions, either; which was Renschler’s analysis of Mitsubishi in 2004 which brought Daimler’s involvement with the Japanese company to an end.
After more recent stints with Daimler’s truck in addition to also bus divisions, Renschler resigned coming from his position in January 2014 in addition to also started out at VW’s commercial vehicles section in February 2015.
One key factor in Renschler’s CV could be which experience inside US. VW was struggling to meet its targets inside crucial region even before the emissions scandal; having someone with experience of the American market could be seen as an important factor as the firm tries to pick up the pieces in addition to also rebuild its reputation.
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