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July 25, 2022

Blume to take over from Diess as VW Group chief

Oliver Blume takes over as chairman of the VW Group board, with Herbert Diess stepping down early

By David Leggett

The VW Group Supervisory Board has appointed Oliver Blume as the new board chairman, effective  1 September 2022.

Blume will also continue to act as chairman of the Porsche board. VW also said that he would continue in the Porsche role ‘after a possible IPO’.

Herbert Diess is resigning as chairman of the VW board by mutual agreement. Reports suggest he is stepping down three years before his contract officially ends.

Diess was seen as a ‘reformer’ at VW Group, but his plans attracted some controversy at a company renowned for political infighting. In late 2020, he forced the board to extend his contract with a ‘back me or sack me’ ultimatum.

The Chairman of the VW Group Supervisory Board, Hans Dieter Pötsch, thanked Herbert Diess on behalf of the entire board: “During his tenure as Chairman of the Board of Management of the Volkswagen Passenger Cars Brand and as Chairman of the Group Board of Management, Herbert Diess played a key role in advancing the transformation of the company. The group and its brands are viable for the future; its innovative capabilities and earning power are strengthened. Mr. Diess impressively demonstrated the speed at which and consistency with which he was able to carry out far-reaching transformation processes. Not only did he steer the company through extremely turbulent waters, but he also implemented a fundamentally new strategy.”

The VW Group Supervisory Board also resolved that Group CFO Arno Antlitz will additionally assume the position of COO and ‘thus assist Blume with day-to-day operations’.

Born in Braunschweig, Oliver Blume joined the Volkswagen Group in 1994 and, since then, has held management positions for the brands AUDI, SEAT, Volkswagen and Porsche. He has been the Chairman of the Board of Management at Porsche since 2015 and a member of the Group Board of Management since 2018.

“Oliver Blume has proven his operational and strategic skills in various positions within the Group and in several brands and has managed Porsche AG from a financial, technological and cultural standpoint with great success for seven years running. From the Supervisory Board’s point of view, he is now the right person to lead the Group and to further enhance its customer focus and the positioning of its brands and products”, said the Chairman of the Supervisory Board, Hans Dieter Pötsch. In addition, Oliver Blume, together with the entire Board of Management, is to continue to press ahead with the transformation – with a leadership culture that makes teamwork a top priority.

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