Feeling Pressure, Volkswagen Bumps Up Exec Meetings
Volkswagen’s top-level executives will meet again next week, the third meeting for the supervisory group in as many weeks, for an unusual crisis-planning cram session, according to Reuters.
“In this special situation it would not be enough for the executive committee to only meet ahead of a supervisory board meeting, or every six to eight weeks,” according to one of the sources.
The call for the emergency meeting comes shortly after one of the supervisory members, Stephan Weil, who is Lower Saxony’s prime minister, called for the automaker to come clean within three months. Volkswagen’s regularly scheduled shareholder meeting will be at the end of April.
“There is a very legitimate concern on the part of U.S. authorities, the public and the company itself for a comprehensive investigation,” Weil said in an interview, according to Bloomberg (via Automotive News). “It’s in the interest of VW to provide a complete clarification.”
New Volkswagen CEO Matthias Müller has come under fire for a disastrous trip to the U.S. where he met with environmental regulators to discuss the company’s fix for its cars without apparent progress toward a solution, and a radio interview where he initially downplayed the deception by the automaker.
Weil said he supported Müller and that the company could withstand the crisis.
“I am confident that later we’ll be able to say the bottom line is, this crisis made Volkswagen stronger,” Weil said.
"What do you mean we're doing nothing? We held meetings!"
Müller was very much a product of the Piëch culture and it's showing in his tone-deaf handling of the constant barrage of bad news coming out of Wolfsburg. There are consultants that specialize in corporate crisis management and it would behoove VW to hire them immediately and listen to what they have to say. Müller may be a competent automotive executive but it's becoming pretty clear he may not be the right man for the job. Mary Barra's apologies at GM were far better received and an example of how a CEO should react to this kind of life-or-death crisis for the brands involved.
BUY THEM BACK
Maybe they should practice their English in those meetings.