Jailed Audi CEO Rupert Stadler Cut Loose From Company

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.

  • FreedMike Back in the '70s, the one thing keeping consumers from buying more Datsuns was styling - these guys were bringing over some of the ugliest product imaginable. Remember the F10? As hard as I try to blot that rolling aberration from my memory, it comes back. So the name change to Nissan made sense, and happened right as they started bringing over good-looking product (like the Maxima that will be featured in this series). They made a pretty clean break.
  • Flowerplough Liability - Autonomous vehicles must be programmed to make life-ending decisions, and who wants to risk that? Hit the moose or dive into the steep grassy ditch? Ram the sudden pile up that is occurring mere feet in front of the bumper or scan the oncoming lane and swing left? Ram the rogue machine that suddenly swung into my lane, head on, or hop up onto the sidewalk and maybe bump a pedestrian? With no driver involved, Ford/Volkswagen or GM or whomever will bear full responsibility and, in America, be ambulance-chaser sued into bankruptcy and extinction in well under a decade. Or maybe the yuge corporations will get special, good-faith, immunity laws, nation-wide? Yeah, that's the ticket.
  • FreedMike It's not that consumers wouldn't want this tech in theory - I think they would. Honestly, the idea of a car that can take over the truly tedious driving stuff that drives me bonkers - like sitting in traffic - appeals to me. But there's no way I'd put my property and my life in the hands of tech that's clearly not ready for prime time, and neither would the majority of other drivers. If they want this tech to sell, they need to get it right.
  • TitaniumZ Of course they are starting to "sour" on the idea. That's what happens when cars start to drive better than people. Humanpilots mostly suck and make bad decisions.
  • Inside Looking Out Why not buy Bronco and call it Defender? Who will notice?