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Old 11-14-2006, 08:59 AM   #1
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Default Wolfgang Bernhard "VW brand chief considers resigning"

Wolfgang Bernhard "VW brand chief considers resigning"

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Volkswagen's VW brand chief and reform driver, Wolfgang Bernhard, is seriously considering stepping down after the car maker appointed Martin Winterkorn as future chief executive, a newspaper said on Tuesday.

Quoting company sources, business daily Handelsblatt said Bernhard had already in May threatened internally to resign if Winterkorn became chief executive.

Volkswagen last week appointed Winterkorn, the head of the Audi premium division, as new CEO, replacing Bernd Pischetsrieder, who will resign at the end of the year.

The paper said Volkswagen's supervisory board would like to keep Bernhard but that relations between him and Winterkorn were cool.

The firm declined to comment on the report.

Chosen by Pischetsrieder to head the VW brand, Bernhard has been at the forefront of VW's campaign to slash costs and jobs at the group's troubled western German operations.

Bernhard is responsible for delivering 7 billion euros ($9 billion) in gross earnings improvements at the VW brand by 2008, and has aggressively looked to prune benefits and extend working hours for the roughly 100,000 workers at the six traditional VW plants in western Germany.
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