Jailed Audi CEO Rupert Stadler Cut Loose From Company

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
jailed audi ceo rupert stadler cut loose from company

Rupert Stadler, now former CEO of Audi, saw his contract with Volkswagen Group terminated on Tuesday, thus allowing the automaker to distance itself from a PR-squashing reminder of its disastrous diesel emissions fiasco.

Serving as Audi AG’s CEO since 2010, Stadler’s June arrest on suspicion of interference in an ongoing German fraud investigation pushed an interim CEO into the top chair. It was the highest profile arrest thus far in the diesel emissions scandal. As investigators continue probing his potential involvement in the diesel fraud, the jailed Stadler also gives up his seat on VW’s management board, effective immediately.

VW Group announced Stadler’s departure in a Tuesday release:

The supervisory boards of Volkswagen AG and AUDI AG have today consented to the conclusion of an agreement with Rupert Stadler on the termination of his offices as a member of the board of management of Volkswagen AG and chairman of the board of management of AUDI AG as well as of his service agreements. Mr. Stadler is leaving the companies with immediate effect and will no longer work for the Volkswagen Group. Mr. Stadler is doing so because, due to his ongoing pretrial detention, he is unable to fulfil his duties as a member of the board of management and wishes to concentrate on his defence.

Sales executive Bram Schot will continue serving as acting CEO until a replacement can be found.

With Stadler’s departure, another figure from the Dieselgate era vanishes from the company. VW CEO Martin Winterkorn stepped down days after the Environmental Protection Agency blew the lid off the scandal in September 2015. The U.S. later indicted him on felony charges of conspiracy and wire fraud, though he remains a free man in Germany. An investigation continues on that front.

Winterkorn’s successor, Matthias Müller, found himself ousted by the VW board in April of this year and soon became the target of an expanded German investigation.

Several reports have speculated on the hefty windfall that might greet Stadler in his sudden retirement, but VW claims the severance pay (Stadler’s contract was to run out in 2023), carries an asterisk.

“The contractual execution depends on the course and outcome of the criminal proceedings,” VW stated.

[Image: Audi AG]

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  • Redapple Redapple on Oct 02, 2018

    I am still shocked it took so long to catch the cheating. All companies buy competing vehicles. Up until VW was caught the MASSIVE question in car dom was, 'how on earth can VW meet emissions laws while we cannot.' They got away with it for years and years.

    • Raph Raph on Oct 02, 2018

      Everybody is running a hustle so nobody wants to snitch.

  • SCE to AUX SCE to AUX on Oct 02, 2018

    I wonder if Audi now knows something they did not know previously; i.e. this guy's going to be convicted of a crime.

  • Tassos BTW I thought this silly thing was always called the "Wienermobile".
  • Tassos I have a first cousin with same first and last name as my own, 17 years my junior even tho he is the son of my father's older brother, who has a summer home in the same country I do, and has bought a local A3 5-door hatch kinds thing, quite old by now.Last year he told me the thing broke down and he had to do major major repairs, replace the whole engine and other stuff, and had to rent a car for two weeks in a touristy location, and amazingly he paid more for the rental ( Euro1,500, or $1,650-$1,700) than for all the repairs, which of course were not done at the dealer (I doubt there was a dealer there anyway)
  • Tassos VW's EV program losses have already been horrific, and with (guess, Caveman!) the Berlin-Brandenburg Gigafactory growing by leaps and bounds, the future was already quite grim for VW and the VW Group.THis shutdown will not be so temporary.The German Government may have to reach in its deep pockets, no matter how much it hates to spend $, and bail it out."too big to fail"?
  • Billccm I had a 1980 TC3 Horizon and that car was as reliable as the sun. Underappreciated for sure.
  • Inside Looking Out I did not notice, did they mention climate change? How they are going to fight climate change, racism and gender discrimination. I mean collective Big 3.