Volkswagen plunges into the unknown after the sudden resignation of its CEO
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Volkswagen plunges into the unknown after the sudden resignation of its CEO

This time is the occasion… Herbert Diess has resigned as Chairman of the Volkswagen Group. He will be replaced by Oliver Blum, current president of Porsche. He will assume his duties from 1 September while retaining his responsibilities at the helm of the luxury brand.

big surprise

The resignation of Herbert Diess was a big surprise as it was not expected and was not announced in the medium term. The man who heads the German 10-brand, world number one automaker, took over the reins of the group in 2018. His appointment to end the crisis that followed the staggering scandal of fitted engines brought the eventual cost of more than $25 billion in various damages or fines. Then the former head of the Volkswagen brand set out to rebuild the strategic roadmap for a group that had never succeeded in shedding the pro-combustion engine culture.

Resignation letter to silence a rebellion

In 2020, he had to face an internal rebellion consisting of an atypical obstacle between engineering tycoons and unionists. In the fall, he then put his resignation on the boardroom table, forcing him to decide on his massive transformative plan that must then turn the tables to make Volkswagen a world champion in electric mobility. Billions will then be invested in new technologies, but also in charging infrastructure, or in software perfection with more than 11,000 IT engineers to be hired.

Why Volkswagen is adopting the revolutionary Tesla model in the electric car

The supervisory board hesitates, but ends up acquitting him. Then Herbert Diess hired Pilgrim’s staff to try to rally the staff to his cause. The press will publish heated dialogues with employee representatives about the results of its transformation plan. But Herbert Diess is convinced that despite its industrial and technological might, Volkswagen has built up lags and weaknesses against Tesla, whose sales could equal those of Audi in less than two years. In terms of connectivity, software or electricity, the German group is no longer on top, according to his diagnosis.

“I am concerned about Wolfsburg (the global headquarters of the group where the largest factory is also located, editor’s note)“, announced in front of the staff.”I want your children and grandchildren to continue working with us in Wolfsburg in 2030Herbert Diess was fired to justify the extent and boldness of his ‘revolution’.

Volkswagen: How the CEO is preparing minds for his ‘revolution’

In the new world of cars, unprecedented competition awaits usBefore he confessed, he had expressed after testing Chinese cars:I have to admit they’re not really bad“.

Grateful group

In the official press release of Herbert Dies’ departure, the Supervisory Board salutes the work of the outgoing president.

Hans Dieter said: “Mr. Diess has impressively demonstrated the speed and consistency with which he has been able to lead large-scale transformations. He has not only steered the company through highly turbulent waters, but has also implemented a fundamentally new strategy,” said Hans Dieter Pötsch, Chairman of the Supervisory Board. .

Mysterious reasons to leave

It is impossible to know the true reasons for the departure of Herbert Dies. Its bravery in an extremely brutal shift or a deep divergence of the regulator at a time when the energy crisis teeters in the economic equation of the electric car?

What is certain is that after Martin Winterkorn’s fall in 2015 after Dieselgate, and Matthias Muller’s fall in 2018, Herbert Diess has become part of that tradition of departing in disaster for the heads of one of the world’s largest industrial groups with nearly 600,000 employees.

“There will be a spring for cars, but it will be rock and roll” (Herbert Deiss)