GERMANY: Press reports divided on future of VW's Bernhard
German press reports are divided on whether Wolfgang Bernhard will leave Volkswagen or not.
There has been much speculation in recent weeks about Bernhard's future. Currently head of the Volkswagen brand, he is seen as an ally of ousted CEO, Bernd Pischetsrieder, and his restructuring role is likely to be diluted by the new management. As former head of Chrysler, and friend of DaimlerChrysler CEO Dieter Zetsche, it has been mooted that he might be offered a job back there.
According to the Spiegel magazine at the week, Bernhard will not be allowed to move across to DaimlerChrysler because of anti-competitive clauses in his contract that Volkswagen would enforce. However, Bernhard is considered likely to leave the company and move into another industry sector. Volkswagen's future CEO, Martin Winterkorn, would take over the running of the Volkswagen brand himself.
The Spiegel magazine also repeated previous information that Bernhard had been offered the position of head of manufacturing.
Another German news weekly, Focus, however, reported at the weekend that Bernhard will not be leaving the company or his current position. Instead he will try to hold on to the position that is essentially part of his contract. This reportedly states that if there is a change of power he would not have to take any other position in the company, but would still be entitled to his fully salary until the end of his contract in 2010.