Volkswagen Group has chosen Matthias Müller to become the German automaker’s new chief executive. Müller was most recently the CEO of luxury carmaker Porsche AG.
Müller, 62, became chief executive and president of Porsche AG in October 2010 in Stuttgart, Germany. Trained as a toolmaker and a student of computer science, Müller started working at Audi in 1977. In 2003 he was responsible for all of Audi and Lamborghini product lines, according to his Porsche biography, and he continued to move up the corporate ladder. Porsche and Audi are two of Volkwagen’s twelve brands.
“My most urgent task is to win back trust for the Volkswagen Group – by leaving no stone unturned and with maximum transparency, as well as drawing the right conclusions from the current situation,” Müller said in a statement. “Under my leadership, Volkswagen will do everything it can to develop and implement the most stringent compliance and governance standards in our industry. If we manage to achieve that then the Volkswagen Group with its innovative strength, its strong brands and above all its competent and highly motivated team has the opportunity to emerge from this crisis stronger than before.”
Jeff Thinnes , a former Daimler-Benz vice president, said Volkswagen’s chief executive has a “monumental task” ahead of him.
“Volkswagen has always employed a top-down hierarchical management structure—one that was further exacerbated by Winterkorn’s autocratic style. Changing this will require significant time and commitment,” Thinnes said.
Previously, Müller was the candidate of choice to lead Volkswagen by the powerful Porsche family members on Volkswagen’s supervisory board, but he lost out to Winterkorn