VW Executive Changes and More Comms

VW logoSince the scandal broke, Volkswagen has sprung in action, making executive changes and stepping up communications. No surprise, Martin Winterkorn resigned. However, his statement is unusual (as was his video, considering the likelihood that he would leave the company): 

"I am shocked by the events of the past few days. Above all, I am stunned that misconduct on such a scale was possible in the Volkswagen Group. 

"As CEO I accept responsibility for the irregularities that have been found in diesel engines and have therefore requested the Supervisory Board to agree on terminating my function as CEO of the Volkswagen Group. I am doing this in the interests of the company even though I am not aware of any wrong doing on my part. 

"Volkswagen needs a fresh start – also in terms of personnel. I am clearing the way for this fresh start with my resignation. 

"I have always been driven by my desire to serve this company, especially our customers and employees. Volkswagen has been, is and will always be my life. 

"The process of clarification and transparency must continue. This is the only way to win back trust. I am convinced that the Volkswagen Group and its team will overcome this grave crisis." 

Since the decision on Wednesday, VW has hired a new chief executive, Matthias Müller, previously head of Porsche. A New York Times article title calls him an "insider"-notable because of criticism about the company's centralized control of power.  

Additional communications include the following: 

Discussion Starters: 

  • Analyze the most recent communications. Are you convinced the company is doing all it can to fix the situation and regain customer confidence?
  • As far as I know, U.S. VW customers have not received any direct communication (e.g., an email) from the company. What's your view about this?