The Presidency of the Supervisory Board does not find a solution in the Diess case


VW boss Diess demands concessions from the supervisory board

The presidium of the Volkswagen supervisory board negotiated on Tuesday evening about the future of CEO Herbert Diess.

(Photo: dpa)

Düsseldorf Herbert Diess initially remains CEO of the Volkswagen Group. This was announced on Tuesday evening after a meeting of the Supervisory Board presidium in Wolfsburg from corporate circles. No resolutions had been passed about his contract extension and the filling of various vacant positions on the Group’s executive board.

A power struggle that flared up again between CEO Diess and the works council under its chairman Bernd Osterloh has kept the Wolfsburg-based car manufacturer in suspense for days. As a vote of confidence by the supervisory board, Diess had therefore been pushing for an early contract extension in the past few days. The CEO would also like to fill the positions of finance and purchasing with his favorites.

If the demands of the CEO had not been met, it would have been possible for Diess to resign, it had been said in advance. The Chairman of the Board of Management had repeatedly reproached the employees’ side in the past that they were pursuing a policy of blocking and preventing important changes at Volkswagen.

At the meeting of the Presidium, Diess first commented on the current situation from his point of view. After that, the top committee of the supervisory board continued its meeting without the chairman of the board. The meeting of the top committee lasted a total of three hours. Despite the corona pandemic, the Presidium had a face-to-face meeting in Wolfsburg. The Presidium members preferred the direct discussion to a digital conference.

The Presidium consists of eight members and has equal representation. On the capital side, these are the chairman of the supervisory board, Hans Dieter Pötsch, the family representatives Wolfgang Porsche and Hans Michel Piech, and Lower Saxony’s Prime Minister Stephan Weil (SPD). On the employee side, works council chief Osterloh and IG Metall chairman Jörg Hofmann are represented in the presidium.

In the run-up to the meeting, it became clear that Diess would initially remain CEO of Volkswagen. All important groups from the Supervisory Board can envisage further cooperation with Diess despite the current discussions. Works council chief Osterloh had already announced last week that he wanted to continue working with Diess. On the part of the Porsche-Piech family, family spokesman Wolfgang Porsche is the one who definitely wants to keep Herbert Diess in the group. The family sees Diess as a guarantor that the initiated transformation of the company with electrification and digitization will be continued consistently.

The meeting of the Presidium also served to prepare for the last Supervisory Board meeting of the current year in the coming week. In the group, it is considered likely that the 20-member supervisory board will not make any major resolutions in the coming week. CEO Diess will not approve any contract extension next week either. Neither is there any thought of filling the two board positions quickly. For this there is still time until spring, it said on Tuesday in business circles.

The current contract with CEO Diess runs until spring 2023. If the contract were increased to a total of five years at short notice, Diess would be CEO in Wolfsburg until the end of 2025. He would then be 67 years old. VW board members should actually work for the group up to the age of 65.

More: Showdown in Wolfsburg: Will Herbert Diess remain VW boss?

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