New VW CEO implements changes

Volkswagen Group is undergoing changes in its comprehensive realignment under the new leadership of CEO, Dr Herbert Diess.

‘The Volkswagen Group is in robust shape in both operational and financial terms. Our strategy is gaining traction. We are systematically tackling the major automotive issues of the future. However, the longest part of our journey still lies ahead. The crucial years in our transformation have yet to come,’ Herbert said at the Annual General Meeting of Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft in Berlin.

‘As the speed of change in the auto industry continues to accelerate, the Volkswagen Group’s realignment based on Strategy 2025 must gather even greater momentum’, Herbert added. This is particularly the case for the cultural change at Volkswagen, which the new CEO believes is crucial for future corporate success.

Among other things, Volkswagen will expand its internal whistle-blower system further. The company will also reinforce the compliance organization and make it even more professional. One specific example is supplier relationships, which will be aligned more closely with compliance principles. In addition to further improving structures and processes, the program will focus on permanently embedding ethical conduct in the corporate culture. This is a role that managers, in particular, are called on to perform.

The new CEO also took the opportunity offered by the Annual General Meeting to explain to shareholders the further development of the Volkswagen Group management structure announced at the time he took office on 13 April. ‘Volkswagen must act more quickly, systematically and efficiently – in making decisions and in implementing them. In other words, we must transform the Group from a slow and somewhat cumbersome supertanker into a powerful fleet of speedboats,’ the CEO said, outlining the objective of the new corporate structure, which will lay the foundations for this and will be fleshed out and implemented in the future.