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Published: Thu, April 12, 2018
Economy | By Melissa Porter

VW expected to place Herbert Diess in the driving seat

VW expected to place Herbert Diess in the driving seat

The change will be discussed at a supervisory board meeting on Friday, said the people, who asked not to be identified speaking ahead of an official announcement. Mueller took over at VW in September 2015, a week after news of company's diesel emissions scandal broke.

Such an overhaul would be part of a wider auto industry trend toward spin-offs as companies aim to become more nimble and efficient to cope with rapid changes such as the rise of electric vehicles and autonomous driving. It comes just a few weeks after Mueller presided over improved earnings, with operating profit excluding special items past year rising to 17 billion euros ($21 billion). Diess joined from BMW (BMWG.DE) in 2015 with a reputation for driving change. Previous executives including Bernd Pischetsrieder and Wolfgang Bernhard struggled to push through such reforms. Other potential CEO candidates include Volkswagen's trucks chief and Daimler veteran Andreas Renschler.

Volkswagen shares, which closed 4.5 percent up on Tuesday after reports of Diess's likely appointment, gained 0.9 percent on Wednesday to 173.16 euros. "We achieved growth in many European markets as well as Germany", said Jürgen Stackmann, Board Member for Sales.

"A change to the chief executive could be involved", it added. According to the company, final decision is expected to be made by the end of the week.

Volkswagen delivered over 1.5mn vehicles to customers in its first quarter of 2018, breaking the company's record.

The issue with restructuring VW lies with a tug a war between interested parties including the controlling families, stakeholders, and unions. CEO of the group - has showed his general willingness to contribute to the changes.

Chairman Hans Dieter Poetsch is in discussions with "certain members" of the firm's supervisory board and management board.

Two months ago, sources close to Volkswagen management told Reuters that Mueller was growing frustrated with a lack of support for his reform efforts and by the company's inability to draw a line under its emissions scandal.

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