Monday, December 6th, 2021

VW board committee unlikely to decide on CEO in Tuesday meeting, report says


BERLIN — Volkswagen’s supervisory board executive committee will meet on Tuesday evening to discuss the future of CEO Herbert Diess but further discussions will likely be needed before a final decision is reached, three sources told Reuters.

A compromise between the eight-person committee — which includes works council head Daniela Cavallo and representatives for majority shareholder families Porsche and Piech — could depend on whether Diess agrees to change his management style, the sources said, after a series of clashes between the CEO and workers over his electrification strategy.

Any decision would come before a Dec. 9 supervisory board meeting to discuss VW’s five-year spending plan, the sources said, declining to be named due to the sensitivity of the matter.

The goal is to announce new board members alongside details on job prospects for employees and investment plans for the group as a package, the sources said.

“It looks as though the threads are coming together,” one of them told Reuters.

A solution will likely include the appointment of Ralf Brandstaetter, CEO of Volkswagen’s namesake brand, to the management board, the people said, where he would take over responsibility for the mass-market brand group from Diess.

Diess and union representatives have clashed in recent weeks over his management style and the company’s ambitious electrification strategy, after the CEO warned at a meeting in October that 30,000 jobs could be lost if the process was not managed well.

Diess last year ceded responsibility for the Volkswagen brand to Brandstaetter after weeks of squabbling between labor leaders and managers over the pace and scale of cost-cutting plans.

Porsche SE, the holding company for the Porsche-Piech family’s 53 percent stake in VW Group, also declined to comment.

German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung first reported plans for Tuesday’s meeting of the executive committee of VW Group’s supervisory board.