Audi board to meet on Monday to reshuffle management: sources

MUNICH/HAMBURG (Reuters) - The supervisory board of Volkswagen's VOWG_p.DE premium carmaker Audi NSUG.DE will meet on Monday to replace four of its top executives, people familiar with the matter told Reuters.

Sources said last month the board was preparing to replace finance chief Axel Strotbek, production chief Hubert Waltl, human resources head Thomas Sigi and sales chief Dietmar Voggenreiter.

However, they added CEO Rupert Stadler, who has come under fire from the media and unions for his handling of the group’s emissions scandal, would stay as he still has the backing of the Porsche and Piech families that control Volkswagen (VW).

“This should happen relatively smoothly,” one of the people said.

Audi declined to comment.

The carmaker, which is the biggest contributor of profits to VW, is grappling with car recalls, prosecutor investigations and criticism from unions and managers over the diesel emissions scandal and its performance since it broke in 2015.

VW manager Wendelin Goebel, a confidant of VW CEO Matthias Mueller and Audi’s Stadler, is likely to replace Sigi as personnel chief, the sources said.

The appointment of Peter Koessler, the chief of Audi’s plant in Gyor, Hungary, as the new head of production is meanwhile not as certain, they added. One person said Wolfgang Porsche, who represents the family on Audi’s supervisory board, favoured a different, unidentified candidate for the post.

German weekly Automobilwoche reported this week that VW commercial vehicles sales chief Bram Schot was to replace Voggenreiter and CFO Strotbek would be succeeded by Alexander Seitz, who among other responsibilities has been in charge of procurement at VW do Brasil.

Reporting by Irene Preisinger and Jan Schwartz; Writing by Maria Sheahan; Editing by Shri Navaratnam and Mark Potter