Volkswagen CEO could be out in shock management shakeup

matthias muller

Volkswagen is considering a surprise management shakeup that could include replacing CEO Matthias Mueller.

The automaker said in a statement Tuesday that it was in discussions with top executives and members of its supervisory board that may result in changes to personnel.

Volkswagen (VLKAF) said that Mueller had "showed his general willingness to contribute to the changes."

Mueller was made CEO in September 2015, at the height of the automaker's diesel emissions scandal. A veteran of the company, he had previously served as head of Porsche.

Shares in Volkswagen spiked nearly 3% in Frankfurt on Tuesday.

Citing company sources, the German newspaper Handelsblatt reported that Mueller is about to be replaced by Herbert Diess, an executive who currently leads the Volkswagen brand.

Handelsblatt said the company's supervisory board could make its decision at a meeting on Friday.

Volkswagen admitted in 2015 it had rigged millions of diesel engines to cheat on emissions tests. The scandal sent its share price plunging, and caused consumers and regulators to reevaluate diesel technology.

The automaker's share price has since recovered, but some lawsuits are still pending. The scandal has cost the company over $30 billion.

Related: Volkswagen used to love diesel. Not anymore

Volkswagen, which employes over 640,000 people, has turned aggressively to electric cars under Mueller's leadership.

In September, the automaker said it would spend over €50 billion ($62 billion) on battery technology as it pushes to electrify all 300 models in its range by 2030. It has promised more than 80 new electric and plug-in hybrid models by 2025.

Volkswagen has also put huge emphasis on China, branding the market "decisive" for its future success. The group sold more than 4 million cars in China in 2017, far more than in any other country.

Related: Volkswagen's big bet on China

Volkswagen owns several brands including Audi, Porsche and Skoda.

The company said in its statement on Tuesday that it was considering changes to its complicated management structure.

"It is currently open whether the considerations and discussions will lead to a further development of the management structure or to personnel changes in the Board of Management," it said.

Investing

         

CNNMoney Sponsors