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VW to give workers a board seat


"The Volkswagen Group's goal is and remains to align the Company and its brands with future needs, to safeguard its position among the leaders of the global automotive industry with innovativeness and profitability, and to be instrumental in shaping tomorrow's personal mobility with the strength of our Group brands", said Chairman of the Supervisory Board, Hans Dieter Pötsch. After nine years there, he moved to Volkswagen in 2015 right before the infamous diesel emission scandal.

Diess was regarded as a potential future CEO when he joined Volkswagen in July 2015 after serving as head of vehicle development for BMW. It said the new structure would streamline decision-making in the individual operating units as the company deals with a rapidly shifting business environment.

Volkswagen Group, the world's largest automaker by sales volume, has appointed a new CEO to replace the executive who helped steer the company out of its diesel emissions scandal and into a new era of investment in electric cars.

Reuters reports that Diess and Mueller agreed to guarantee VW's manufacturing jobs in Germany until 2025 in order to get approval from the unions for a plan to turn the carmaker into a mass producer of electric cars.

Mr Mueller, a former chief executive of VW subsidiary Porsche, was brought in to replace Martin Winterkorn. That project became much more urgent as the diesel scandal generated massive costs, and meant taking on established interest groups.

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He apologized for the scandal and launched what was described as an effort to make the company's management more open to discussion and less top-down, factors that may have abetted the emissions cheating. But instead of being squeezed out, he has been pushed upward, and has been made CEO. It's a sign of real change at VW.

Without citing its sources, Spiegel said Karlheinz Blessing, who was appointed management board member with responsibility for human resources on January 1, 2016, would be replaced by Gunnar Kilian, secretary general of VW's works council. Francisco Javier Garcia Sanz, Volkswagen's long-time head of purchasing, will leave the company.

Mr Mueller - a veteran of the German auto company - was promoted from his role heading the Porsche division to take the job heading the entire group.

As head of purchasing at BMW, Diess was instrumental in the luxury-car maker's ability to weather the financial crisis by squeezing more than 4 billion euros out of supply costs.

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