Meet Volkswagen group's CEO Herbert Diess

Meet Volkswagen group's CEO Herbert Diess

Volkswagen's truck division is also set to go public in early 2019 and has recently entered into a partnership with Toyota's truck maker, Hino, to create economies of scale throughout its business.

As an outsider who didn't come up through the Volkswagen ranks as did Mueller, Diess must master the company's unique and sometimes unwieldy corporate culture, which includes a major government stakeholder in the state of Lower Saxony and strong employee representation that has tended to hinder cost-cutting.

"Bringing Herbert Diess' CEO nomination forward is the next step in transforming VW into a more modern and effective company", Evercore ISI analyst Arndt Ellinghorst said in a note.

Even with the diesel emission burden to bear and faced with various accusations in the matter from all sides, Müller successfully managed to lead the VW boat through rough waters.

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He will head up the management board that reports to the group's board of directors and take charge of vehicle development and research as well as vehicle-related information technology. The scandal has cost the company over $30 billion.

Diess appeared to be on his way out past year at VW after a rare public clash with Osterloh.

Diess joined Volkswagen in 2015 after holding an executive position at BMW.

Warburton said, however, that despite fears that Volkswagen's insular culture might reject Diess's hardnosed approach, "instead of being squeezed out he has been pushed upward and made CEO", calling that "a sign of real change at VW".

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"Herbert Diess is the right manager to do that". A decision on a truck IPO is still "open", he said. Lastly, Porsche sports auto division head Blume has been promoted to the top management body of the entire organization.

The move to replace Muller is also part of wider business restructure that will see the company and its brands - VW, SEAT, Skoda, Lamborghini, Bugatti, Audi, Bentley and Porsche - split into three pillars: Volume, Premium and Super Premium.

Purchasing chief Francisco Javier Garcia Sanz, the longest-serving top executive at VW, will leave the company, the carmaker said.

Diess's appointment comes two days after a company statement that was as surprising as it was cryptic, saying that Mueller had agreed "in principle" to contribute to a management change, without elaborating or mentioning his chosen successor by name.

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