Posted Jul 22, 2022, 6:40 PMUpdated on Jul 22, 2022 at 6:46 PM
It’s a surprise, a colossal summer surprise. Herbert Diess, the man who has been trying to electrify Volkswagen since his arrival in 2015, in the middle of Dieselgate, is leaving his post at the head of Europe’s leading automotive group. The supervisory board has appointed Oliver Blume, the boss of Porsche, in his place, as of 1er september
At this time, the real reasons for this palace revolution remain unclear. Coming from BMW with iconoclastic communication methods in Germany, Herbert Diess has shaken up the conservative house of Wolfsburg, trying to operate a vast and complex movement towards digital and electric. But in the factories, the assembly of electric vehicles remains very uncertain – the group is unable to follow the orders -, and the establishment of an independent division for digital technology is painful.
The 63-year-old soon-to-be ex-leader has also experienced several standoffs with powerful employee representatives, and some shareholders from the local public sphere. In particular on his employment plans, he who had made “cost-killing” his trademark. He leaves his post “by mutual agreement”.
Porsche boss takes over
“Herbert Diess played a key role in the transformation of the group (…). He not only managed to lead the group in very turbulent times, but he also knew how to implement a fundamentally new strategy,” commented Hans Dieter Pöstch, Chairman of the Supervisory Board. He also appointed Arno Antlitz, the financial director, director of operations.
Oliver Blume, Volkswagen’s new kingpin, on the other hand, knows the codes of “VW” by heart – he is not Bavarian like Herbert Diess. He has been with the German group since 1994 – he was even born in Braunschweig, a town near Wolfsburg, the historic headquarters of the group with twelve brands. He has been running Porsche, the jewel of the empire, for 7 years.
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