Volkswagen chairman is fine with an outsider as next CEO

Hans Dieter Poetsch

Volkswagen has not dismissed breaking with business tradition and appointing an outsider as its next CEO, Chairman Hans Dieter Poetsch informed.

Present CEO Matthias Mueller, whose agreement runs through 2020, has been with the Volkswagen group for almost 40 years, including in senior roles at premium divisions Audi and Porsche.

A number of investors slammed his appointment, which came at the height of the automaker’s diesel emissions scandal in September 2015, saying it must have worked with a new leader from outside the company.

In comments emailed to Reuters, Poetsch informed the supervisory board would deal with a successor to Mueller “in due course”.

“Obviously we are open as far as the result is concerned,” he said, in reference if a successor might come from outside the company or be a female.

The auto market is going through a period of transformation, with pressure to decrease contamination and welcome cleaner technologies, along with autonomous driving, car-sharing and new competitors including Tesla and Uber.

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