VW Group Considering New CEO, Possibly Promoting Herbert Diess

As Diesel Scandal Fades, VW Is Planning to Replace Its CEO

Mr. Müller promised to change Volkswagen's corporate culture to be less authoritarian and less prone to the kind of behavior that led to the emissions cheating and other scandals.

Chairman Hans Dieter Poetsch is leading the process and Mueller has "showed his general willingness to contribute to the changes", the company said.

However, Volkswagen refused City AM's request to confirm whether Muller was resigning, and whether he would be replaced by Diess. Shares in Volkswagen surged in Tuesday afternoon trading, adding as much as five percent on the day before paring their gains to around 4.0 per cent at a price of 170.84 euros around 3:30 p.m.

The 64-year-old Mueller, always a reluctant CEO who had grown tired of the regular grillings by board members, responded during the talks by signaling he was prepared to step aside, they said.

News of replacing Mueller moved shares upward. VW officials had no statement beyond the two-paragraph filing.

Diess, who has a doctorate in assembly automation and spent eight years on BMW's executive board, came to VW with high ambitions. As the executive overseeing VW's biggest unit, he routinely butted heads with the powerful labour union as he sought to cut costs and simplify the byzantine structure of the carmaker. Amid opposition from labor leaders, Mueller failed to sell motorbike maker Ducati previous year.

"I don't see an obvious trigger that would have prompted this", said Christian Ludwig, an analyst at Bankhaus Lampe.

Longtime CEO Winterkorn quit after the firm admitted in 2015 to manipulating 11 million diesel vehicles worldwide to cheat regulatory emissions tests in a scandal that became known as "dieselgate". Its profit margin climbed to 7.4% of sales a year ago from 6% in 2015, when the crisis hit. The company sold a record 10.74 million vehicles, making it the world's largest carmaker, though the title is disputed by the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance, which sold 10.6 million and says Volkswagen is counting trucks that aren't cars.

Its complex structure has extended to its main shareholder, Porsche Automobil Holding, where VW's chairman serves as the CEO and Mueller also serves as a top executive.

The German carmaker said on Tuesday it was considering a change in leadership as part of a broader management overhaul, but gave few details.

On the basis of these considerations, the Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft is now in discussions with certain members of the Supervisory Board and of the Board of Management.

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