VW replaces CEO Matthias Mueller amid group restructure

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Diess said that he will work to increase the efficiency of synergies across the group's companies, highlighting the importance of streamlining decision making processes in order to adapt to the fast-changing auto industry.

Herbert Diess, right, new CEO of Volkswagen, and Hans Dieter Poetsch, left, chairman of the board of directors of the Volkswagen stock company, address the media during a press conference in Wolfsburg, Germany, Friday, April 13, 2018.

The change in CEO is part of a wider management shake-up for the VW Group whose 12 brands include Audi, Bentley, Bugatti, Lamborghini, Porsche, SEAT and Skoda.

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He takes over the company as a new super manager, running both the group as a whole, with its 640,000 staff worldwide, and the flagship Volkswagen brand as well as the research and development and vehicle IT divisions.

In the release, the German automaker said it would reorganize its management structure into six areas and china.

Herbert Diess, head of the Volkswagen brand, will succeed Muller as chairman of the group's board of management. "Matthias Muller has laid the groundwork for our transformation", Diess said in the release.

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"My most important task will now be to join with our management team and our Group workforce in consistently pursuing and pushing forward our evolution into a profitable, world-leading provider of sustainable mobility".

Mr Mueller, who formerly headed Porsche, took over as chief executive unexpectedly in September 2015 when Martin Winterkorn resigned over the company's scandal over cars rigged to cheat on emissions tests. "In a phase of profound upheaval in the automotive industry, it is vital for Volkswagen to pick up speed and make an unmistakable mark in e-mobility, the digitalization of the automobile and transportation as well as new mobility services".

Longtime chief executive Winterkorn quit days after the firm admitted to installing software in 11 million diesel vehicles worldwide created to cheat regulatory emissions tests in a scandal that became known as "dieselgate". Mueller past year earned about 10 million euros in pay and benefits.

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Audi boss Rupert Stadler who becomes head of sales for the entire group and Porsche CEO Oliver Blume who becomes head of production, and Gunnar Kilian the company's new HR chief, were notably absent. Francisco Javier Garcia Sanz, Volkswagen's long-time head of purchasing, will leave the company.

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