In a complete surprise, Volkswagen’s Chief Executive Officer Herbert Diess announced that he is leaving the company on September 1.
Oliver Blume, CEO of Porsche, will take over the VW CEO role.
Blume had long been considered the front-runner to take over for Diess.
His name was mentioned last year as a possible successor.
Blume will be dual-hatted for the time being and will continue his current role as CEO of Porsche.
Porsche is planning an upcoming IPO, and Blume will continue to lead the company through that process which should conclude in the Fall.
VW’s Chief Financial Officer Arno Antlitz will also have new responsibilities and take over the day-to-day business for VW.
The VW Supervisory Board confirmed that the decision was made by mutual agreement.
Supervisory Board Chairman Hans Dieter Potsch said this about Diess in a statement:
[Diess] played a key role in driving forward the transformation of the company both during his time as chairman of the board of management of the Volkswagen brand and of the Group.
The board and Diess had long been at odds with each other.
The Board did not like Diess’s communication style, and last year the board removed some of Diess’s responsibilities after cost-cutting comments caused an uproar within the company.