In a vague statement, the company said it was considering a “further development of the management structure” and hinted this would include changes to its Board of Management. The statement went on to mention a possible “change in the position of the chairman of the Board of Management” which is currently held by Müller.
Volkswagen went on to say the Chairman of the Supervisory Board, Hans Dieter Poetsch, is having discussions with certain members of the Supervisory Board and the Board of Management. The company declined to mention the specifics of these discussions but noted Müller has shown a “general willingness to contribute to the changes.”
Who will replace him?
While Volkswagen’s statement was light on details, Reuters is reporting Müller will effectively be pushed out and replaced by Herbert Diess who is currently the head of the Volkswagen brand and a member of the Volkswagen AG Board of Management. The Supervisory Board will reportedly meet on Friday to discuss the issue as well as a possible IPO for its truck and bus division.
If Müller is replaced, the news would come as a bit of a surprise as his contract wasn’t slated to end until 2020. However, there have been reports the executive was frustrated that his reform efforts weren’t being supported and the company hasn’t be able to fully get past the emissions cheating scandal which resulted in the recall of millions of vehicles.
It remains unclear why Volkswagen wants to replace Müller but The New York Times reports Diess has been one of the key figures behind Volkswagen’s push for electric vehicles. The publication also noted he “carries less baggage than Mr. Müller” over the dieselgate scandal.