BERLIN (AP) — Volkswagen’s CEO is giving up managing the company’s core VW brand in order to concentrate more on the group as a whole, the German automaker said Monday.
Herbert Diess, whose image had been tarnished in the fallout from the company’s diesel-emissions scandal, will be replaced as head of the VW brand by Ralf Brandstaetter, who has been serving as the brand’s chief operating officer, the company said in a statement.
The change will give Diess, who has been pushing the company ahead with a shift toward zero-emission vehicles and a new, more environmentally friendly image, more time to focus on the overall brand, which includes Audi, Porsche and Skoda, the company said.
“The goal is a stronger focus on the respective tasks from the top of the group and brand in the ongoing transformation phase of the automobile industry,” VW said.
Diess and Board Chairman Hans Dieter Poetsch had been charged by German prosecutors with securities-law violations for allegedly failing to tell investors in time about the company’s looming diesel scandal in 2015. The charges were dropped last month in return for a 9 million-euro ($10 million) payment, with no admission of guilty from the two.