Volkswagen Group of America Drops CEO Michael Horn
“Mutual Agreement” Led to Horn’s Departure
Volkswagen Group of America released a statement today announcing the departure of President and CEO Michael Horn. Hinrich J. Woebcken will replace Horn on an interim basis. Woebcken was recently made the new Head of the North American Region, as well as Chairman of Volkswagen Group of America.
The release says Horn and Volkswagen AG came to a mutual agreement that would see the former CEO leave the company to “pursue other opportunities.” Horn assumed his position as president and CEO in 2014, well after the company began using defeat devices to cheat emissions tests in 2009. Horn denied he was ever aware of the emissions violations, as well. As the public face of Volkswagen in America, he issued countless apologies and testimonies to the American public following the scandal’s revealing in September 2015.
The former CEO has been with the company for more than 25 years, so it’s a bit surprising that he would elect to leave completely of his own volition. Automotive News reports that Horn’s focus on improving dealer profits made him a popular man among the company’s U.S. retailers. Members of the company’s dealer council expressed concern about the leadership change, citing “continued mismanagement” of the emissions scandal from the company’s German leaders.
Sources: Volkswagen AG, Automotive News