Herbert Diess to step down as Volkswagen Group chairman from 1 September

Diess will be succeeded by Porsche boss Oliver Blume, who will remain in charge of the sports car brand as well

The Volkswagen Group has confirmed that chairman of the supervisory board of management, Herbert Diess, will step down from his post by “mutual agreement” on 1 September after four years at the top of the VW Group.

Diess will be succeeded by Porsche boss Oliver Blume, who will remain as chairman of the sports car brand and “continuing in the latter capacity also after a possible IPO.”

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In a short statement the VW Group thanked Diess for his innovative product ideas, redesigned product portfolios and for establishing a clear focus on electromobility, but the change in management at the top of the company signifies a big generation change for the Group.

Diess found himself at the helm of the VW Group in the midst of the dieselgate scandal, and along with ructions recently surrounding a dispute with labour unions over potential job cuts, the exec hasn’t had an easy ride.

Blume has held the top position at Porsche for the last seven years and has been instrumental in the brand implementing its first EV, the Taycan, which has been a sales success; Blume has continued to grow sales volumes for the brand despite the Covid pandemic, and the appointment comes while Porsche and its VW Group custodian eyes an IPO. 

The Chairman of the VW Group Supervisory Board, Hans Dieter Potsch, said: “During his tenure as Chairman of the Board of Management of the Volkswagen Passenger Cars Brand and as Chairman of the Group Board of Management, Herbert Diess played a key role in advancing the transformation of the company. 

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“The Group and its brands are viable for the future; its innovative capabilities and earning power are strengthened. Mr. Diess impressively demonstrated the speed at which and consistency with which he was able to carry out far-reaching transformation processes. Not only did he steer the company through extremely turbulent waters, but he also implemented a fundamentally new strategy.”

Speaking about Diess’s successor, Blume, Potsch also said “he is now the right person to lead the Group and to further enhance its customer focus and the positioning of its brands and products.”

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