Earthquake in the VW group: Diess leaves the presidency and will be replaced by Blume (Porsche)


The surprising decision was made today by the board. The change will be effective from September 1.

Oliver Blume, Chairman of Porsche and, since September, of Volkswagen AG
Oliver Blume, Chairman of Porsche and, since September, of Volkswagen AG

Earthquake in the Volkswagen Group dome. The supervisory board of the world’s second largest car manufacturer has decided to resign Herbert Diess, his employer since 2018 effective September 1 and will be replaced by Oliver Blume. He will also retain his position as chairman of Porsche AG, the jewel in the crown whose IPO is scheduled for the end of the year.

The move represents a generational change at the helm of the company, as Diess is 62 and Blume is 54, as the automotive industry faces the biggest transformation in its history. A revolution whose figurehead is electrification, accelerated by the hand of Diess also to erase all traces of the scandal of the diesel scandal; but it has two other big purposes in digitization (with the development of its own software as one of VW’s main goals) and connectivity.

Diess had been head of the VW group since April 2018
Diess had been head of the VW group since April 2018

In the roadmap drawn up by the still president of Volkswagen, the objective is to achieve world leader in electric cars by 2025.

The departure of Diess, who worked for Bosch in Spain between 1990 and 1996, was reportedly mutually agreed. “He has played a key role in the ongoing transformation of the business during his tenure. He not only steered the company through extremely choppy waters, he also realigned it strategically.” Board Chairman Hans Dieter Ptsch said in a statement.

But the truth is that the outgoing executive had been behind the scenes for months and at the end of last year won his last skirmish after a period of high internal tensions due to a style of management that some described as intransigent. . The confrontation was notorious with the unions, opposed to the cost-cutting policy, seeking funds to finance the transformation of the company. In fact, that’s one of the reasons for Porsche’s IPO.

Although forced to relinquish responsibility for operations in China, a strategic market, obtain in return the supervision of the Cariad entity. This is the business unit responsible for the software, which is running slower than expected.

Oliver Blume, CEO of Porsche and since September, of the VW Group
Oliver Blume, CEO of Porsche and since September, of the VW Group

At the helm of Porsche since 2015

“I am very happy to lead both Porsche AG and the Volkswagen Group. My focus will be on customers, brands and products. The human component is always in the foreground for me,” he said after his appointment. Blume, who had been at the helm of Porsche since 2015. Last year, this sports car brand represented just over 3% of nearly 8.9 million vehicles that I sold by the German group, but almost represent 28% of profits.

Previously, he was a member of the management committee responsible for production and logistics at Porsche. He has also been a member of the consortium’s board of directors since 2018. He joined the Volkswagen Group in 1994 and has since held management positions for the Audi, Seat, Volkswagen and Porsche brands. He was in the chickens to succeed Diess, although his candidacy ran out of steam when he renewed his contract until 2025.

Diess and Sanchez, in the presentation
Diess and Sanchez, at the presentation of the Sagunto gigafactory

Projects for Spanish factories

With Diess at the helm, the German consortium consolidates its commitment in Spain, as evidenced by the project of electrification of the Seat factories in Martorell and Volkswagen in Navarre from 2025; besides the construction of a gigafactory of batteries in Sagunto. In total, some projects that will involveto mobilize up to 10,000 million euros and the production of 800,000 small electric vehicles per year.

However, he never finished dispelling doubts about Seat’s future as a brand, when there were his public messages of support for Cupra, his sports brand. Maybe now things will change with Blume.

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