Volkswagen boss could be replaced in restructuring

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Volkswagen AG is set to name the head of its namesake brand, Herbert Diess, as its next chief executive to succeed Matthias Mueller, in a surprise shake-up of top management after emerging from the years-long diesel crisis.

Chairman Hans Dieter Poetsch is now in talks about changing the structure with fellow supervisory board members and members of the management board, Volkswagen said.

"On the basis of these considerations, the Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft is now in discussions with certain members of the Supervisory Board and of the Board of Management", the statement reads.

Volkswagen said that Mueller had "showed his general willingness to contribute to the changes".

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Volkswagen is controlled by the Piech and Porsche families, which have 52 percent of voting rights.

A representative of the German state of Lower Saxony, another of the largest shareholders, was not immediately available for comment on the appointment.

Citing company sources, the German newspaper Handelsblatt reported that Mueller is about to be replaced by Herbert Diess, an executive who now leads the Volkswagen brand.

Mueller, 64, was head of Volkswagen's richly profitable Porsche division when he unexpectedly was handed the CEO job in September 2015.

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Despite facing billions in fines, vehicle refits and lawsuits relating to its "dieselgate" scandal, Volkswagen's operating results have been robust, with sales and profit hitting record highs previous year.

Volkswagen is expected to make a final decision regarding the future of its top executive in Matthias Muller by the end of the week amidst the company's costly diesel emissions scandal.

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In the aftermath of the diesel-cheating scandal, VW has been pushing to overhaul its rigid top-down management structure, delegating more responsibility to its brand and regional chiefs. But he also faced skepticism about whether he was a credible change agent since he started working for Volkswagen in 1978.

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Volkswagen's (VW) supervisory board will on Friday replace personnel chief Karlheinz Blessing with Gunnar Kilian, managing director of the carmaker's works council who works directly under labor boss Bernd Osterloh, four sources close to VW told Reuters.

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