In choosing Porsche chief Matthias Mueller as its new CEO, Volkswagen Group’s board used the occasion Friday to announce a complete management shake up in the wake of its emissions testing rigging scandal.
Mr Winterkorn, who had been CEO since 2007 until his resignation on Wednesday , said he took responsibility for the “irregularities”, but insisted he had personally done nothing wrong.
The company’s shares have tanked since the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced it had discovered a “defeat device” in 2009-2015 model Volkswagen and Audi diesel cars that uses sophisticated software to turn on full emissions controls only during official lab tests.
Senior members of the company’s supervisory board had agreed on the choice of Mueller, the report said, quoting two sources close to the board.
The interim chairman of the supervisor board of Volkswagen AG, Berthold Huber, in a statement called Mueller “a person of great strategic, entrepreneurial and social competence”. European regulators are also seeking to determine how many Volkswagen-made cars may be violating emissions standards. It said that “the BMW Group does not manipulate or rig any emissions tests”.
On Thursday, the German government was informed that Volkswagen also cheated in in emission tests of its diesel vehicles in Europe as it did in the US.
Discussing his new role, Muller said “My most urgent task is to win back trust for the Volkswagen Group-by leaving no stone unturned and with maximum transparency, as well as drawing the right conclusions from the current situation”.
Update: Volkswagen’s U.S. CEO Michael Horn will keep his job.
The company first claimed 11 million vehicles were affected by the scandal, but now on Friday, the affected vehicles were said to be 2.8 million.
The company faces fines and class action lawsuits that could cost it billions.
Müller, 62, has been running Porsche for almost five years, in which time the sports auto brand has greatly expanded its sales volume and profits. The market value of the company has been losing billions of euros as well.