VW CEO Martin Winterkorn announced his resignation today as part of an effort to be transparent.
Tall, gruff and stern, Martin Winterkorn was precisely the sort of executive that Volkswagen AG favored, first and foremost an engineer. In this case, one who seemed readily capable of understanding even the most arcane technical details of every car within the vast VW empire of more than a dozen brands.
As the automaker’s one-time head of engineering, that may, ironically, have been a key factor that forced his resignation on Wednesday, less than a week after the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency accused VW of cheating on diesel emissions testing. Few who know Winterkorn, or the VW way of doing business, could imagine that the 68-year-old executive wasn’t at least peripherally aware of problems.
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While not directly linked, Winterkorn stepped down ahead of this week’s VWAG board meeting, stating that, “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. (more…)