VW supervisory board meets to discuss leadership stand-off: sources

HAMBURG (Reuters) - Volkswagen's supervisory board will meet on Wednesday to discuss a leadership stand-off between Chief Executive Herbert Diess and its powerful labour leaders, two sources told Reuters. Diess joined VW in 2015 and has sought to shift it from building combustion engined vehicles to being capable of mass producing electric and increasingly autonomous cars

Reuters December 10, 2020 00:07:10 IST
VW supervisory board meets to discuss leadership stand-off: sources

VW supervisory board meets to discuss leadership standoff sources

HAMBURG (Reuters) - Volkswagen's supervisory board will meet on Wednesday to discuss a leadership stand-off between Chief Executive Herbert Diess and its powerful labour leaders, two sources told Reuters.

Diess joined VW in 2015 and has sought to shift it from building combustion engined vehicles to being capable of mass producing electric and increasingly autonomous cars.

The pace and depth of his reforms, designed to transform Volkswagen into a tech company, has led to clashes with labour leaders eager to protect local jobs.

Diess and the unions are divided over key issues including appointments to the management board, and whether to extend the CEO's contract beyond 2023, the sources said.

Volkswagen is less efficient and has higher costs than key rivals and Diess has argued that costs must come down to free up resources for high-tech cars.

VW Chairman Hans Dieter Poetsch has lobbied to avoid a discussion about the contract extension, on the grounds that it is not pressing until nearer 2023, when it is due to expire, people familiar with the matter said this week.

Volkswagen's labour bosses, who control half the seats on the carmaker's supervisory board, are likely to oppose a contract extension for Diess, plunging it into crisis.

The management stalemate has also seen Diess unable to replenish the management board.

Diess has attempted to install Arno Antlitz as chief financial officer to replace Frank Witter, who is due to retire in June, and to hire Thomas Schmall as management board member responsible for components, replacing Stefan Sommer, who has already left the company, sources told Reuters.

The appointments had been delayed because VW's labour leaders had insisted on approving a "package solution", two people familiar with the talks told Reuters last week.

"We are cautiously optimistic that we will be able to discuss a comprehensive proposal," another source said on Tuesday.

(Reporting by Jan Schwartz; Writing by Edward Taylor; Editing by Maria Sheahan, Thomas Seythal and Alexander Smith)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources
| Reuters
World

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources | Reuters

By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States

China's Xi says navy should become world class
| Reuters
World

China's Xi says navy should become world class | Reuters

BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.