By on February 23, 2017

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Politicians from Volkswagen’s home region of Lower Saxony are raising questions over the unanticipated departure of the German automaker’s compliance chief, Christine Hohmann-Dennhardt, saying they have concerns over how the supervisory board handled the matter. There has been a long-standing apprehension among investors and business analysts that VW is too tightly controlled by its founding Porsche-Piech family and incapable of amelioration.

On Wednesday, Deutsche lawmakers called for a formal inquiry on the matter.

Hohmann-Dennhardt was brought aboard very late in 2015 to assist in Volkswagen’s reformation following the diesel emissions cheating scandal. However last month, after only a year on the job, she left abruptly with a sizable pension and gargantuan severance.

“[We are afraid] the state [government] and the supervisory board are only insufficiently carrying out their ownership role and controlling task,” local politician Mathias Middelberg wrote in a letter to Stephan Weil, Lower Saxony’s prime minister, obtained by Germany’s Spiegel Online.

Middelberg, who leads a commission of 31 delegates from Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union in Germany’s lower house of parliament, expresses concerns over reports that Hohmann-Dennhardt’s position as compliance chief was doomed from the beginning.

Further worry was expressed over the appointment of Manfred Doess as head of Volkswagen’s legal affairs. Doess is also compliance chief at Porsche Automobil Holding SE and well connected within the Porsche-Piech family. Middelberg suggested that Doess seems to have more sway within the company post-emissions scandal than Hohmann-Dennhardt did, even though he was supposed to be her subordinate.

The letter also formally requests that Weil, who also sits on VW’s supervisory board, bring in impartial and independent investigators to establish both the roles of Hohmann-Dennhardt and Doess, including how their authority was defined. Middelberg also wants an inquiry as to why the former compliance chief was issued a monthly pension of 8,000 euros with an additional 12 to 15 million euro [12.6 million to 15.8 dollar] severance package.

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4 Comments on “Germany Demands Investigation Into Odd Exit of Volkswagen’s Compliance Chief...”

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    She quit with her paid-for integrity intact.

  • avatar
    cRacK hEaD aLLeY

    That woman is (was?) a judge for the Federal Constitutional Court of Germany. the Bundesverfassungsgerich.

    Everyone knows the real reason she left VW board was to spend more time with her two cats and tend to her rose garden during Frühling.

  • avatar

    With every new development in the Gift that Keeps on Giving that is the TDI scandal, I become more and more convinced that VW mgmt. is operating in a “Rules are for Little People” mindset, and they seem to be inherently unable to understand that this scandal is going to cost them a lot of money, and going to cost a lot more, unless they actually, truly, come clean.

    I still remember at the Detroit Auto Show last year an exec, even after all that time, claiming that It Was All a Big Misunderstanding. (Even though by then it was perfectly clear that this was not something like ending up on the wrong side of some ambiguity; it was outright lawbreaking.)

  • avatar

    i bought in at $27 so im not complaining too much. it was just money that was going to sit in a checking account and do nothing anyway.

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