Volkswagen Group has appointed Dr Manfred Döss as its new Head of Legal Affairs. He succeeds Michael Ganninger, who is leaving the company "at his own wish by amicable agreement" the company said in a statement.

The new appointment will take effect from January 1, 2016. Döss is Head of the Legal Department and, from 2016, is to be Executive Board member responsible for legal affairs and compliance, of Porsche Automobil Holding SE. He will hold the two functions simultaneously.

VW Group CEO Matthias Müller, said: "In the 20 years that Michael Ganninger has worked for Volkswagen, including 14 years as Head of Legal Affairs, Volkswagen could always build on his legal expertise and his outstanding dedication. Special thanks are due to him for his considerable commitment over the past few months during which the diesel issue was the prevailing topic and we were able to rely on his specialist competence."

Dr. Manfred Döss (57) holds a doctorate in law. He held positions as Head of the Legal Department of MG Technologies from 1996 to 2004 and RWE AG from 2005 to 2013. In 2013, Döss joined Porsche Automobil Holding SE, also as Head of the Legal Department; at the same time, he became General Representative. In December, he was appointed Executive Board member responsible for legal affairs and compliance of Porsche Automobil Holding SE, effective January 1, 2016.

Following the second state examination in law, Michael Ganninger (54) was initially a public prosecutor in Brunswick from 1991, followed by an appointment as a judge of Brunswick Regional Court, before joining Volkswagen in 1995. He became Head of Legal Affairs in 2002.