Volkswagen’s CEO Martin Winterkorn Announces his Resignation.
By: S. Harding, Xiro Xone News September 23, 2015
In the wake of Volkswagen’s emissions scandal, CEO Martin Winterkorn has announced his resignation.
“Volkswagen needs a fresh start,” wrote Winterkorn in a statement, “also in terms of personnel. I am clearing the way for this fresh start with my resignation.”
Winterkorn maintained that he is “shocked by the events of the last few days,” alluding to the discovery by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that Volkswagen had used software to cheat on emissions testing.
Volkswagen stunned investors Tuesday by admitting that the problem was much bigger than that: internal investigations had found significant discrepancies in 11 million vehicles worldwide.
It set aside 6.5 billion euros ($7.3 billion) to cover the cost of recalls and “efforts to win back the trust of our customers,” trashing its profit forecast for the year in the process.
Shares in Volkswagen plunged another 20% Tuesday, after crashing 17% Monday. That means more than a quarter of the value of the company has been wiped out in just two days.
“Above all, I am stunned that misconduct on such a scale was possible in the Volkswagen Group,” Winterkorn wrote. “As CEO I accept responsibility for the irregularities that have been found in diesel engines and have therefore requested the Supervisory Board to agree on terminating my function as CEO of the Volkswagen Group.”
The announcement seems to be a new strategy for Winterkorn moving forward. Just yesterday, he released a video explaining how Volkswagen planned to proceed. The New York Times has pointed out that Winterkorn, is the highest paid executive in Germany, with an annual salary of nearly $18 million.
There’s no official word on who will replace Winterkorn, but rumblings around the industry think it will be Porsche CEO Matthias Müeller.
Earlier in the week Volkswagen was rumored to be interested in purchasing RedBull Racing F1 team.