By on June 19, 2018

Image: Audi AG

An emergency board meeting held in the wake of Audi CEO Rupert Stadler’s Monday arrest led to the chief executive’s suspension from the company. It was Stadler’s idea, apparently.

As the former CEO cools his heels in a Munich jail, held on suspicion of fraud and evidence suppression related to Volkswagen Group’s diesel emissions scandal, the automaker’s board named sales and marketing chief Abraham Schot as interim CEO. Whether or not Stadler returns to his former post depends on his innocence.

“On Tuesday, the Supervisory Board of Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft accepted the request of member of the Group Board of Management Rupert Stadler to release him from his duties as member of the Board of Management of Volkswagen AG,” the automaker said in a statement.

“The release is a temporary measure, put in place until the circumstances surrounding Stadler’s arrest have been clarified.”

A Munich judge ordered Stadler held in custody yesterday, declaring that the former top dog at Audi posed a flight risk. He should face questioning by Wednesday.

“The accused was brought before the investigating judge, who ordered the execution of the pre-trial detention,” the Munich prosecutor’s office said in a statement to Autocar. “We cannot comment on the substance of our background in the light of the ongoing investigations. For Mr Stadler, the presumption of innocence continues to apply.”

Autocar reports that Stadler will testify this week. The 55-year-old former CEO’s tenure in Audi’s upper ranks overlaps with the conspiracy to fool customers and regulators with rigged diesel engines. While Stadler maintains his innocence, German media reports claim the testimony of former Audi officials led to his arrest. The former CEO was named a suspect in the investigation earlier this month.

As the legal drama plays out, VW claims Schot will “be invited to participate in the meetings of the Group Board of Management as a guest.”

[Image: Audi AG]

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8 Comments on “Audi’s Stadler Out as CEO, but Perhaps Only Temporarily...”

  • avatar
    Gardiner Westbound

    “Ve haf vays of making you talk!”

    Messing with the polizei is never a good idea.

  • avatar

    For a minute there I thought they were going to put him in Spandau.

  • avatar

    I never noticed the smoke or smell coming out of the exhaust pipes. Anyway, I was merely following orders. I repeat, I saw nothing, smelled nothing, and heard nothing, and in fact know nothing – how do you think I rose to camp commandant – er I mean CEO?

  • avatar
    87 Morgan

    This will be interesting to watch play out. The U.S. government has shown very reluctant if not a straight refusal to hold an actual CEO responsible for corporate malfeasance. It seems the preferred treatment of a fine equal to a half days earnings for the corporate entity is sufficient most times.

    The answer is, he knew along with countless others in charge. The real question is what will be done about it.

  • avatar
    Null Set

    In Germany, he will get a slap on the wrist. They are even more averse to punishing CEOs for breaking the law than we are. I don’t really know what his track record was as CEO of Audi, apart from the diesel scandal. But if he was some kind of profit-turning Wunderkind, trust me, VW will find a way to bring him back as CEO, even if he is working from a prison cell in the Frankenwald.

  • avatar

    CEO is the sort of magical position where you can get arrested for fraud and evidence suppression and still keep your job.

  • avatar

    Germans will rather find the reason to punish Facebook, Google, Apple and other evil AMERICAN occupants than German CEO no matter what crime against humanity he or she committed.

  • avatar

    Is Waldorf being installed as his replacement?

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