Volkswagen ousts CEO in management shakeup

Volkswagen Group announced on Thursday that its board replaced CEO Matthias Mueller with Herbert Diess, as the German automaker shakes up its management structure.

The company said it will organize its brands into six groups, with another unit housing Volkswagen’s business in China. Volkswagen also replaced its executives in charge of purchasing and human resources, and Porsche chief Oliver Blume will serve on the governing body for Volkswagen Group.

The moves come as automakers launch new technology ventures such as self-driving cars and ride-sharing services. Volkswagen said its new structure will accelerate decision-making.

“In a phase of profound upheaval in the automotive industry, it is vital for Volkswagen to pick up speed and make an unmistakable mark in e-mobility, the digitalization of the automobile and transportation as well as new mobility services,” Diess said in a statement.

Diess, who previously served as an executive with BMW, has run Volkswagen’s namesake brand since 2015.

Mueller, the former head of Porsche, abruptly took over Volkswagen in 2015 after the CEO at the time, Martin Winterkorn, resigned amid the company’s diesel scandal. Volkswagen acknowledged that it equipped 11 million diesel cars with devices designed to skirt emissions tests.

Mueller oversaw Volkswagen at a time when global sales surged to new records in 2017. The company also booked 11.6 billion euros in full-year profits.