In light of a scandal, the one item a company needs is stability. Unfortunately for Volkswagen, the diesel emission scandal has seemed to bring growing levels of instability. Case in point is the announcement of Dr. Winfried Vahland stepping down. Vahland was picked to become the head of Volkswagen's North American unit only a few weeks back.
In a statement released by the automaker, the two had "differing views" on the company's new structure and his departure is "expressly not related" to the emissions scandal.
Meanwhile, a report from German publication Spiegel says that at least 30 managers at Volkswagen were involved in cheating emission tests citing information from investigations done by Volkswagen and the law firm Jones Day. The report goes on to say that the number of people who knew about the cheating could expand as the investigations go on.
A Volkswagen spokesman told Reuters that the number in Spiegel's report "is completely unfounded."
Later this week, Volkswagen CEO Matthias Müller will meet with senior management and update them on the investigation and plan the next move.
Press Release is on Page 2
Prof. Dr. Winfried Vahland leaves Volkswagen Group
Mladá Boleslav, 14 October 2015 – After 25 years of successful work in Volkswagen Group, most recently as Chairman of ŠKODA, Prof. Dr. Winfried Vahland is leaving the company at his own request. Prof. Vahland will therefore not be taking up the position of overall responsibility for the North American Region (NAR). Differing views on the organisation of the new Group region have led to this decision; this decision is expressly not related to current events on the issue of diesel engines.
Prof. Vahland began his work in Volkswagen Group in 1990. After holding several key positions at home and abroad, he took over Group responsibility as President and CEO of Volkswagen in China in 2005 and contributed significantly to the successful new direction of Volkswagen in China. He was appointed Chairman of the Board of Management of ŠKODA in 2010. Under his leadership, ŠKODA implemented the largest growth and model campaign in the brand’s history and positioned ŠKODA sustainably as a successful international high-volume brand.
The CEO of Volkswagen Group, Matthias Müller emphasised: “In the last 25 years, Prof. Vahland made a great contribution to the company. We respect his decision and thank him for his exceptional performance.”