Herbert Diess resigns as CEO of the Volkswagen Group. As the company announced, the 63-year-old has reached an agreement with the supervisory board to retire on September 1st. His successor is to be Porsche boss Oliver Blume.
Blume is to continue his position at the sports car manufacturer in parallel and prepare for the IPO, which is to take place in the fall. At VW, Blume is said to be supported by Chief Financial Officer Arno Antlitz, who is said to be responsible for day-to-day business.
VW prices fell on the stock exchange: the papers lost 2.6 percent in late trading in Frankfurt after closing at 134.32 euros.
Employee representatives welcome the decision
The staff representatives of the car manufacturer met with approval. In addition to its role as a technological favourite, Volkswagen must also do justice to its role as a social role model, explained IG Metall boss and Volkswagen supervisory board vice president Jörg Hofmann.
Works council chief Daniela Cavallo explained that job security and profitability must remain equal corporate goals. "All colleagues have to be taken along. Today's decisions contribute to that."
Blume has been acting as a successor for some time
The former BMW manager Diess has led VW since April 2018. He was instrumental in pushing the car company's conversion to e-mobility. Recently, however, there have been major problems, especially with the sluggish development of our own software and IT systems, which is becoming even more expensive.
Blume has long been considered a possible successor to Diess – his name had been mentioned several times behind the scenes when a conflict between the VW boss and the powerful works council over possible new austerity programs escalated last year.
Even before that, there had been violent differences of opinion with parts of the supervisory board about the further strategy and about a possible drastic job cut at Europe's largest car manufacturer.