Winterkorn Resigns as VW CEO Amid Diesel Emissions Scandal
VW Board To Consider Potential Successors Friday
As many had expected, Volkswagen Group CEO Dr. Martin Winterkorn has resigned amid the growing worldwide scandal over the company’s “defeat” software installed on approximately 11 million TDI models worldwide from 2009-2015. The company released the following statement on behalf of Winterkorn:
"I am shocked by the events of the past few days. Above all, I am stunned that misconduct on such a scale was possible in the Volkswagen Group. As CEO I accept responsibility for the irregularities that have been found in diesel engines and have therefore requested the Supervisory Board to agree on terminating my function as CEO of the Volkswagen Group. I am doing this in the interests of the company even though I am not aware of any wrong doing on my part.
Volkswagen needs a fresh start – also in terms of personnel. I am clearing the way for this fresh start with my resignation. I have always been driven by my desire to serve this company, especially our customers and employees. Volkswagen has been, is and will always be my life.
The process of clarification and transparency must continue. This is the only way to win back trust. I am convinced that the Volkswagen Group and its team will overcome this grave crisis."
Some possible candidates for the CEO job include Porsche brand chief Matthias Mueller and Herbert Diess, formerly of BMW. Prior to the emissions cheating being revealed, all indications were that Winterkorn’s contract would be renewed through 2018.
Although his legacy will undoubtedly be tainted by this scandal, under Winterkorn’s leadership, Volkswagen increased its global sales, narrowly edging out Toyota to take the global sales crown with 5.04 million units in the first half of 2015. Under Winterkorn, the Volkswagen group aggressively acquired and launched luxury brands such as Bentley, Bugatti, and Lamborghini, as well as premium performance motorcycle brand Ducati.
Source: Volkswagen, Automotive News