Herbert Diess can twist and turn it however he wants. The 63-year-old manager with an Austrian passport has always remained a foreign body in the Volkswagen Group and the local culture of give and take between the works council, management, the state of Lower Saxony and the Porsche and Piëch shareholder families. His undiplomatic manner has already brought him to the verge of being kicked out, and now, for the former BMW manager, things are back to normal. The presidium of the supervisory board met on Tuesday afternoon to discuss whether and, if so, under what circumstances he can remain CEO of VW.
As of the editorial deadline for this issue, nothing leaked out of the meeting. Further meetings have already been scheduled, it was said earlier in Wolfsburg. Actually there should be more clarity about the future of Diess this week, but the talks may drag on until next week or even longer. The situation is too complex after Diess had used arithmetic games against the works council and Lower Saxony as co-owners of VW to cut up to 30,000 jobs. His call for a “revolution” in the inefficient Wolfsburg parent plant fueled the dispute. Recently there had been signs of relaxation, but everything seems to be possible at the moment. Should this fall, either now or after a new grace period, managers who stand for a completely different style could move to the top.