VW Delays Decision to Dump Audi CEO Rupert Stadler
Volkswagen Group’s supervisory board has postponed a decision on the future of Audi CEO Rupert Stadler, who has been in jail since June due to his presumed connection with the automaker’s diesel malfeasance. Despite having scheduled a Monday meeting to assess Stadler’s role within the company and how best to end it, the board found itself unable to come to a conclusion by Friday.
That does not mean the imprisoned CEO will be getting a pardon from the company, however. Stadler’s representatives and VW simply failed to negotiate a solution that would see Stadler step down from his role as Audi CEO and as a VW Group management board member, sources close to the situation told Automotive News Europe.
From Automotive News:
German daily Handelsblatt reported earlier on Friday that the VW Group board had held off because of an imminent decision by the German government on how to tackle pollution from diesel vehicles. Given that Germany’s auto industry has rejected a proposal to lower the emissions of older diesel vehicles with hardware retrofits as too costly, it would be poor timing to spend millions of euros to buy Stadler out of his contract, which was extended by five years last year, the report said.
Since Stadler is likely to remain jailed for the foreseeable future and could end up with a lengthy prison sentence, discussions on the issue are likely to continue for as long as it takes to get him out of the job. “It is out of the question that Rupert Stadler can come back from this,” an unnamed VW executive told The Wall Street Journal. “The discussion now is just about how to terminate his contract, it’s up to the lawyers.”
Meanwhile, Bram Schot will continue serving as the CEO’s interim replacement. An announcement is expected relatively soon, likely naming Stadler’s official successor at Audi. Beyond acknowledging that they are taking place in tandem with other company issues, Volkswagen hasn’t made any official comments on the ongoing talks.
[Image: Volkswagen Group]
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