VW Supervisory Board: Heads Will Continue to Roll

Mark Stevenson
by Mark Stevenson
vw supervisory board heads will continue to roll

As part of now-former CEO Martin Winterkorn’s resignation, the Executive Committee of Volkswagen AG’s Supervisory Board has also issued a statement.

Cliff’s Notes: If you helped engineer the “defeat device,” you might want to polish your LinkedIn profile.

The statement was delivered in point form as follows:

  1. The Executive Committee takes this matter extremely seriously. The Executive Committee recognizes not only the economic damage caused, but also the loss of trust among many customers worldwide.
  2. The Executive Committee agrees that these incidents need to be clarified with great conviction and that mistakes are corrected. At the same time, the Executive Committee is adamant that it will take the necessary decisive steps to ensure a credible new beginning.
  3. The Executive Committee has great respect for Chairman Professor Dr. Winterkorn’s offer to resign his position and to ask that his employment agreement be terminated. The Executive Committee notes that Professor Dr. Winterkorn had no knowledge of the manipulation of emissions data. The Executive Committee has tremendous respect for his willingness to nevertheless assume responsibility and, in so doing, to send a strong signal both internally and externally. Dr. Winterkorn has made invaluable contributions to Volkswagen. The company’s rise to global company is inextricably linked to his name. The Executive Committee thanks Dr. Winterkorn for towering contributions in the past decades and for his willingness to take responsibility in this criticall phase for the company. This attitude is illustrious.
  4. Recommendations for new personnel will be presented at the upcoming meeting of the Supervisory Board this Friday.
  5. The Executive Committee is expecting further personnel consequences in the next days. The internal Group investigations are continuing at a high tempo. All participants in these proceedings that has resulted in unmeasurable harm for Volkswagen, will be subject to the full consequences.
  6. The Executive Committee have decided that the company will voluntarily submit a complaint to the State Prosecutors’ office in Brunswick. In the view of the Executive Committee criminal proceedings may be relevant due to the irregularities. The investigations of the State Prosecutor will be supported in all form from the side of Volkswagen.
  7. The Executive Committee proposes that the Supervisory Board of Volkswagen AG create a special committee, under whose leadership further clarifying steps will follow, including the preparation of the necessary consequences. In this regard, the Special Committee would make use of external advice. Further details about this will be decided at the Supervisory Board meeting on Friday.
  8. The Executive Committee is aware that coming to terms with the crisis of trust will be a long term task that requires a high degree of consistency and thoroughness.
  9. The Executive Committee will work on these tasks together with the employees and the Management Board. Volkswagen is a magnificent company that depends on the efforts of hundreds of thousands of people. We consider it our task that this company regains the trust of our customers in every respect.

(Emphasis mine.)

Winterkorn may be the first, but he certainly won’t be the last victim of the Great Volkswagen Engineer Cull of 2015. Expect heads to roll in the next few days and for the Supervisory Board to shuttle them out the back door.

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13 of 40 comments
  • George B George B on Sep 23, 2015

    I was asked to fake testing this spring and I refused. Engineers are technical migrant workers who have to change employers frequently in a career. Refusing to go along with fraud can cost you a job. Participating in fraud can end your career. That said, I have identified and exploited "creative" interpretation of regulations in the past. Unlike Volkswagen, I disclosed what I was doing and got everyone involved including the regulator to agree to the interpretation before any product was sold.

    • See 2 previous
    • Ah_non_e_mouse Ah_non_e_mouse on Sep 23, 2015

      @SCE to AUX Just have to ask if you've ever met John Aaron. I actually met the Apollo 12 launch CAPCOM Gerald Carr at Kennedy a few years ago. Very nice man and told some interesting stories of his time at NASA.

  • APaGttH APaGttH on Sep 23, 2015

    Huh, all the B&B saying this was an EPA led witch hunt are awful quiet here today. Because you know, the EPA is forcing a Germany company to throw their under the bus and request that the German officials do their own criminal investigation. I mean, intentionally breaking the rules for financial gain on a global scale over 11 million vehicles and 6 years is nothing, NOTHING we should be concerned about. Oh, and I don't believe for one second that the highest levels of VW did not know this was going on. No way, no how, not at this scale, and not for this long. I've worked for some really f-ed up big enterprises. I was at Compaq on the tail end of the Rose/Pfeiffer/Gutsch/Schrock days. I was just a notch above "pawn in the game of life" status there. Compaq at the end of the good days was building computers as fast as they could in Houston, marking them shipped on the books and to shareholders, and parking them in semi trailers in a lot a few miles away from the campus, where they baked in the Texas sun. The idea at first was to cover up a bad quarter, than two, than three. The computers depreciate at a rate of about 2% to 3% per month as technology moved forward. The backlog of computers sitting in trailers grew to EIGHTEEN MONTHS. By then they were so depreciated they would never recover the fake value already reported in previous quarters, and the hard drives and other sensitive parts were destroyed in the heat. It was so bad, that Compaq started canceling purchase orders with Intel. The cover up was well we're using Cyrix and AMD also and so we're reducing volume - but they weren't. They simply told Cyrix and AMD the same BS story - as well as share holders. The board didn't know - but Rose/Pfeiffer/Schrock sure as Hell did. Pfeiffer got called into an emergency board meeting on a Sunday and was handed his own resignation letter. He was basically told, resign, or we fire you and drop a dime to the SEC. Gutsch was already a huge liability and was pushed out the door. Rose had orchestrated the DEC acquisition and in a final act of revenge (as he was fired by DEC) was made acting CEO. Schrock was already gone and running Alta-Vista into the ground, giving up the massive lead in search and services they had to Yahoo! and this small start up called Google. It was no big secret about the trailers, the computers rotting in them, and the cooked books. It was borderline common knowledge in the halls of Compaq if you were in the Deskpro or Presario division (I was in procurement as an engineer, so it was glaringly obvious). Compaq's misdeeds shredded shareholder equity to the tune of billions, and in the end they could not digest the meal that was DEC, and merged with HP, and that meal almost killed HP on its own. The only reason people didn't go to jail over this is Pfeiffer and Gutsch returned to Germany, and the SEC wasn't quite hung up as they were when the Enron scandal broke on these issue. Had Compaq imploded 6 or 12 months later, Pfeiffer/Rose/Schrock would have done the perp walk due to the regulatory and political climate. They also would have likely become poster children for everything wrong with the exuberance in the tech sector at the turn of the millennia. Long story - but the point is you can't convince me Herr Doktor knew nothing. NOTHING!!!

    • See 7 previous
    • Ah_non_e_mouse Ah_non_e_mouse on Sep 24, 2015

      @87 Morgan Also concur however sadly I don't think the internets have enough capacity for a web site containing that type of information.

  • Abrar Very easy and understanding explanation about brake paint
  • MaintenanceCosts We need cheaper batteries. This is a difficult proposition at $50k base/$60k as tested but would be pretty compelling at $40k base/$50k as tested.
  • Scott ?Wonder what Toyota will be using when they enter the market?
  • Fred The bigger issue is what happens to the other systems as demand dwindles? Will thet convert or will they just just shut down?
  • Roger hopkins Why do they all have to be 4 door??? Why not a "cab & a half" and a bit longer box. This is just another station wagon of the 21st century. Maybe they should put fake woodgrain on the side lol...