Volkswagen Replaces CEO Matthias Muller by Mutual Agreement

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Volkswagen appoints Herbert Diess as CEO

Shares in Volkswagen rose 0.6 percent to 177.64 euros by 1250 GMT, against a similar rise for the STOXX 600 automotive index.

Diess, a former BMW AG executive, has had the hard task of negotiating restructuring and cost-cutting with German worker representatives since becoming head of the Volkswagen brand in 2015.

Diess' predecessor Mueller had already steered the mammoth carmaker into a massive restructuring, aiming to offer electric versions of many of its models and streamline operations over the coming decade.

Dieselgate has so far cost VW more than 25 billion euros ($31 billion) in buybacks, fines and compensation, and the carmaker remains mired in legal woes at home and overseas.

Volkswagen has appointed Herbert Diess as chief executive of the German automotive giant. As well as his role as the Chairman of the Board of Management, Diess will also be responsible for Group Development and Research, Rupert Stadler, current Audi CEO, will oversee Group Sales, while Oliver Blume, Porsche CEO, will take responsibility for Group Production.

The Volkswagen empire owns the Ducati motorbike brand, Scania buses and trucks, passenger vehicle brands including Skoda, SEAT and Audi (IOB: 0FG8.IL - news), as well as the Bentley, Porsche and Lamborghini luxury marques.

Under the new structure, the auto brands will be separated into three core divisions - volume, which will include VW, Skoda and Seat; premium, which features Audi; and super premium, which includes Porsche Bugatti, Lamborghini and Bentley.

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Upon being asked what could happen to MAN Diesel and Renk, Diess said the company has assets which will be subject to a review.

Volkswagen said in a short statement that board of directors Chairman Hans Dieter Poetsch was in discussions with top managers about their duties and that the result of the talks was "currently open". Whether these businesses will be invested in or sold off remains to be seen, Diess said. "For that, he is due the thanks of the entire Company".

Speaking at a news conference at the company's headquarters in Wolfsburg, Germany, Diess said the company's goal would be "to forcefully and with focus press ahead" with the company's Strategy 2025.

The scandal surrounding the Volkswagen associated with intentional understatement of the level of harmful emissions from diesel engines, has erupted in the fall of 2015.

Described as highly ambitious, Diess has earned a reputation as a fierce cost cutter unafraid of pushing through big changes.

Just last month, Diess said: "We need diesel, diesel has a future".

"Back then, we were not immediately on the same page", Osterloh said in his letter.

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