VW ousts Mueller, elevates Diess to chairman

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Reuters said sources told the news agency that the supervisory board would seek to bring works council executive Gunnar Kilian onto the company's management board to try to secure backing for new CEO Diess and his plans.

Volkswagen said Tuesday it was considering replacing CEO Matthias Mueller as part of a management shake-up, and German news media reported Mueller's job would go to core Volkswagen brand head Herbert Diess.

Volkswagen replaced Mr Mueller after he failed to refocus the group's portfolio of vehicle brands and transform the company into a leader in cleaner cars after the diesel emissions scandal of 2015.

It said the result of the talks was "currently open" and that Mueller "showed his willingness to contribute" to the changes.

Diess, a former BMW executive, has had the hard task of negotiating restructuring and cost-cutting with German worker representatives since becoming head of the Volkswagen brand in 2015.

Diess currently heads the firm's namesake Volkswagen division, but now takes over a larger parent company that owns brands including Porsche, Audi, Bentley, Bugatti and Lamborghini. As VW's chief executive officer, "conflict will be part of the program".

Predecessor Martin Winterkorn fell victim to the company's scandal over cars rigged to cheat on diesel emissions tests.

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VW's statement didn't specify whether the planned changes meant replacing Mr Mueller or simply a shift in responsibilities.

Volkswagen is expected to finalize major changes to its leadership and possibly its structure after a supervisory board meeting later Thursday.

After-tax profit rose to 11.6 billion euros ($14.3 billion) previous year, on sales of 230.6 billion euros. The complexity extends to its main shareholder, Porsche Automobil Holding, where Mr Poetsch serves as the CEO and Mr Mueller as a top executive.

"Rural utilities, cities, counties and schools have all expressed interest in electrifying their fleet vehicles and buses and this plan makes sure people in every corner of the state has a chance to access these funds, " Noble said in responding to the state plan.

Blume's appointment to VW's management board comes a decade after Porsche attempted to swallow the Volkswagen Group in a spectacular, secret coup that then sports vehicle brand chairman Wendelin Wiedeking and chief strategist Holger Harter nearly pulled off - before it all collapsed spectacularly.

The move comes after Europe's largest automaker has been hampered by infighting among its powerful stakeholders, which include the Porsche and Piech families, the German state of Lower Saxony, and labor leaders.

A separately listed trucks and bus business could have a market value of up to 30 billion euros ($37 billion), Evercore ISI analysts have said.

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