Porsche’s Chief Executive Oliver Blume will replace Herbert Diess as CEO of Volkswagen from 1 September.
Following a supervisory board vote, Diess is set to step down as CEO of the German automating giant. Communications faux pas and serious clashes with labour unions are to blame for the early end of Diess’ tenure at VW, which was due to last until 2025.
Sources familiar with the goings-on told Reuters that the Porsche and Piech families, who own more than half the voting rights and a 31.4% equity stake in VW, were the drivers behind the change at the top.
“Diess was incorrigible. He significantly changed Volkswagen – for the better. But his communication was miserable,” one source told Reuters, who asked not to be named.
Blume will start his new job in September and remain as Porsche’s CEO alongside his new role.
Blume joined the VW Group in 1004 and has held management roles at Audi, Seat, VW, and most recently, Porsche.
“Oliver Blume has proven his operational and strategic skills in various positions within the Group and in several brands and has managed Porsche AG from a financial, technological and cultural standpoint with great success for seven years running. From the Supervisory Board’s point of view, he is now the right person to lead the Group and to further enhance its customer focus and the positioning of its brands and products,” said the Chairman of the Supervisory Board, Hans Dieter Pötsch.
Whether Blume will continue with Diess’ intended changes for the VW Group remains to be seen. Diess was instrumental in changing the tone of VW’s activities. He pushed for faster electrification, ushering in the ID. series of vehicles as well as reviving the Scout truck brand.
He also repositioned the company, citing emerging EV manufacturers such as Tesla as VW’s rivals, rather than established players such as Toyota and Ford.
“During his tenure as Chairman of the Board of Management of the Volkswagen Passenger Cars Brand and as Chairman of the Group Board of Management, Herbert Diess played a key role in advancing the transformation of the company. The Group and its brands are viable for the future; its innovative capabilities and earning power are strengthened,” said Pötsch
“Mr. Diess impressively demonstrated the speed at which and consistency with which he was able to carry out far-reaching transformation processes. Not only did he steer the company through extremely turbulent waters, but he also implemented a fundamentally new strategy.”