Volkswagen appointed Matthias Mueller, the head of its Porsche unit, as its new chief executive following an emissions cheating scandal that its chairman described as a “moral and political disaster”.
The 62-year-old Mueller, speaking at a news conference at company headquarters in Wolfsburg on Friday, said his first priority would be to win back trust following a plunge in VW stock and the resignation of long-time CEO Martin Winterkorn earlier this week.
“Under my leadership, Volkswagen will do all it can to develop and implement the strictest compliance and governance standards in the whole industry,” Mueller said.
Acting chairman Berthold Huber made an apology to “our customers, the public, authorities and investors” and asked them to give Volkswagen a chance to make good on the damage from the emissions scandal.
“I want to be very clear, the manipulation of tests for diesel engines is a moral and political disaster,” Huber said.
“The illegal behaviour of developers and technicians in the development of engines has shocked Volkswagen as much as it has the public.”
He said a number of employees had been put on leave until the details of the emissions cheating were cleared up. The company later announced that it would shrink its management board and get rid of the position of production chief.
VW will hold an extraordinary general meeting on Nov. 9 in Berlin to approve the changes.