Michael HornEnlarge Photo
Michael Horn has stepped down from the top role at the Volkswagen brand’s operations in the United States.
In a statement, VW said Horn is leaving to pursue other opportunities and that the move is effective immediately. Horn worked for VW since 1990 and has held many roles of increasing responsibility over his tenure. He was named President and CEO of VW USA in December 2013.
Filling in for Horn until a successor is found is Hinrich Woebcken, the former BMW executive hired to run VW’s new North American division. Woebcken was hired after his predecessor, Winfried Vahland, quit just two weeks into the new role.
Horn bore most of the brunt of VW’s diesel emissions cheating scandal, including facing members of Congress at a U.S. House of Representatives subcommittee hearing last October. Incredibly, the scandal is still without a solution in many parts of the globe, including in the U.S.
An initial proposal for a fix was rejected by the California Air Resources Board and Environmental Protection Agency. A federal judge has since given VW a March 24 deadline to come up with a new fix acceptable to regulators.
Furthermore, VW is facing a civil lawsuit from the Justice Department for violation of the Clean Air Act. And to make matters worse, it was revealed recently that former VW Group CEO Martin Winterkorn, who stepped down following the reveal of the scandal last September, had known about the problems for more than a year prior to it becoming public.