Deals

VW CEO's future still uncertain, with talks 'on a knife edge'

2 minute read
Register now for FREE unlimited access to reuters.com

HAMBURG, Nov 24 (Reuters) - Volkswagen's (VOWG_p.DE) top committee did not make a decision on the future of Chief Executive Herbert Diess at a meeting on Tuesday, two sources with knowledge of the matter said on Wednesday, with one describing talks as "on a knife-edge."

Diess and the German automaker's powerful union representatives have clashed in recent weeks over his management style and electrification strategy, after he warned jobs could be lost if the process was not managed well.

"This topic is so hot, it is on a knife-edge. I can't say anything further," said one source, who declined to be named due to the sensitivity of the matter.

Register now for FREE unlimited access to reuters.com

"As expected, there is nothing new," a second source said.

Sources told Reuters on Tuesday the supervisory board's eight-person executive committee would likely need more time to find a compromise that would satisfy all parties. read more

1/2

Volkswagen Group CEO Herbert Diess arrives on the red carpet for the automobile awards "Das Goldene Lenkrad" (The golden steering wheel) given by a German newspaper in Berlin, Germany, November 12, 2019. REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke

The ongoing uncertainty over leadership and strategy at Europe's largest carmaker has left its stock performance trailing behind competitors in the past six months.

Its shares are down 18% since May, compared with an 11% rise at BMW (BMWG.DE) and Stellantis (STLA.MI), a 55% increase at Ford (FN.N), and an 83% jump at Tesla (TSLA.O), whose success Diess has frequently raised as a sign of why Volkswagen must transform more quickly towards electrification.

carmakers fortunes

An agreement on the committee - which includes works council head Daniela Cavallo and representatives for the majority shareholder Porsche and Piech families - could depend on whether Diess agrees to change his management style, the sources said.

Sources close to negotiations said a resolution would likely come as part of a package including the announcement of new board members, details on job prospects for employees, and investment plans for the group, Reuters reported on Monday.

Register now for FREE unlimited access to reuters.com
Reporting by Jan Schwartz; Additional reporting by Christoph Steitz; Writing by Victoria Waldersee; Editing by Mark Potter

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

More from Reuters