After the board meeting that discussed his future in the Volkswagen Group, Herbert Diess is still the CEO. However, that’s due more to the fact that the discussion was “on a knife-edge” than that he now counts on full support to keep his strategy for the company going.
According to Reuters, the board members would have asked Diess to change his management style. This request emerged after the executive said in a supervisory board meeting that 30,000 jobs could be lost if the shift to EVs was not fast enough. Diess later had to record a video telling employees there were no plans to fire 30,000 people.
It is now a matter of checking if Diess would like to comply, if he can do it and if that will be enough for him to have no more issues while his contract with the car company stands. Without proper support for his plans, the executive may prefer to go somewhere else. Elon Musk would have tried to hire him to be Tesla’s CEO a while ago. Who knows whether the offer still stands?
It seems board members are also concerned with Diess’ electrification plans. However, it is not clear what they fear. If they think it is moving too fast, the Volkswagen Group CEO has good reasons not to change course. It is clear the future is electric. Any company that insists on sticking with combustion engines will have to deal with bans, more taxes, and all sorts of difficulties that may make it too late for them to change to electric cars.
If the board thinks Diess is not moving fast enough, it would be nice to understand exactly which measures they believe he should take to speed up the process. The MEB product offensive and plans for new electric cars and factories seem pretty fast for us already.
We’ll pay careful attention to where the discussions around Diess’s future at the Volkswagen Group will lead. Not specifically due to the CEO, but mainly because of how this may affect Volkswagen’s transition to electric mobility. With anyone else at the helm, things would surely change.