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Old 11-13-2006, 07:30 AM   #1
NYCshopper
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Default New Volkswagen CEO (Martin Winterkorn) Plans Brand Shake-Up

New Volkswagen CEO (Martin Winterkorn) Plans Brand Shake-Up

http://today.reuters.co.uk/news/arti...4383-OISBI.XML

Quote:
FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Incoming Volkswagen Chief Executive Martin Winterkorn will shake up the group's brands to stop duplication and internal competition, Spiegel magazine said on Saturday ahead of publication on Monday.

The magazine said in an advance summary of a report that Winterkorn planned to create a special premium brand group including Audi, which he currently heads, Bentley, Bugatti and Lamborghini and a mass brand group including Volkswagen, Seat and Skoda.

In a second step, the roles of executive board members would be recast, including creating a central post for a development chief.

Spokespeople for the Wolfsburg-based company declined to comment on the report on Saturday.

Winterkorn will take over as CEO of Europe's biggest carmaker at the start of 2007 should the full supervisory board agree this at a meeting on Nov. 17.

Volkswagen surprised markets with news on Tuesday that current CEO Bernd Pischetsrieder would go at year's end.

Pischetsrieder on Nov. 17 is due to announce that between 3,000 and 4,000 jobs would be cut at the VW plant in Brussels, the magazine also said.

Spiegel also said that if Winterkorn was confirmed in the new post, current Audi CFO Rupert Stadler would succeed him at Audi on an interim basis.

But Wirtschaftswoche, another German magazine, said in an advance copy of its Monday edition that Audi's head of development, Ulrich Hackenberg, was in line for the job.

Winterkorn's planned installation as CEO was endorsed by VW's works council boss, Bernd Osterloh, in an interview with the Welt am Sonntag newspaper.

Winterkorn had "excellently positioned Audi in the market," Osterloh was quoted as saying in an advance copy of the newspaper, which will appear on Nov. 12.

"That can only be good for our image," said Osterloh.

German magazine Focus said in an online report that VW Chairman and former CEO Ferdinand Piech had asked Pischetsrieder to step down in a letter sent several weeks ago, adding that Piech was contacted by Focus and had declined to comment.

Comment about the impending changes at the top of Volkswagen has focused on whether Piech, a grandson of legendary VW Beetle developer Ferdinand Porsche, was interfering in management.

There is also discussion over whether differences about strategy for the group's commercial vehicles business or the extent of its support for German truckmaker MAN's contested bid for Swedish rival Scania were factors in Pischetsrieders's departure.
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Old 11-14-2006, 04:35 AM   #2
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Incoming Volkswagen Chief Executive Martin Winterkorn will shake up the group's brands to stop duplication and internal competition
Wow! Brilliant!
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