Volkswagen AG CEO Herbert Diess is stepping down as of Sept. 1, and Porsche CEO Oliver Blume will assume the role, the company announced in a press release on Friday. Diess will also leave his role as VW AG's Chairman of the Group Board of Management. Blume will remain CEO of Porsche and also take on the VW AG Chairman role as well.
The company's Supervisory Board made the decision in a meeting on Friday.
Diess led the company through a turbulent time. He took over in 2018 from VW AG CEO Matthias Müller in the wake of the fallout from the 2015 Dieselgate scandal. He had previously served as the CEO of the Volkswagen passenger cars brand in the VW Group's 12-brand portfolio. Diess oversaw Volkswagen's on-going transition to an electric vehicle lineup that began with the ID.4 crossover in 2020 and will continue with the ID.Buzz in 2023, new electric SUVs by 2026, and a total of more than 25 EVs by 2030.
“During his tenure as Chairman of the Board of Management of the Volkswagen Passenger Cars Brand and as Chairman of the Group Board of Management, Herbert Diess played a key role in advancing the transformation of the company," the company said in a statement.
Blume joined the VW Group in 1994, and served in management positions at Audi, Seat, and VW. He became Porsche's Chairman of the Board in 2015 and a member of VW Group's board in 2018.
“Oliver Blume has proven his operational and strategic skills in various positions within the Group and in several brands and has managed Porsche AG from a financial, technological and cultural standpoint with great success for seven years running. From the Supervisory Board’s point of view, he is now the right person to lead the Group and to further enhance its customer focus and the positioning of its brands and products,” said the Chairman of the Supervisory Board, Hans Dieter Pötsch.
VW Group has expressed an interest in an IPO for Porsche, and Friday's announcement stated that Blume would continue as Porsche's Chairman of the Board in the event of an IPO.