Matthias Müller is poised to become CEO of Volkswagen amid an international scandal involving faked U.S. emissions tests. Müller, the chief executive of the VW group’s premium car manufacturer, Porsche AG, will replace Martin Winterkorn after the company’s admission that it cheated on U.S. emissions tests, the Wall Street Journal reported Thursday.
Winterkorn resigned Wednesday after almost nine years at the helm of Europe’s biggest carmaker. Members of Volkswagen’s supervisory board then named Müller, 62, as his likely successor, according to media reports. Müller has a majority on the 20-member panel and the final decision is expected to be announced after a full board meeting Friday.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency charged last week that Volkswagen used software on some of its Volkswagen and Audi diesel-powered cars that let them test cleaner than they do on the road. As many as 11 million cars are involved.
— Automotive News (@Automotive_News) September 24, 2015
A flurry of firings and resignations may come from Volkswagen over the next few weeks and months. Wolfgang Hatz, the head of research and development at the Porsche unit, and Ulrich Hackenberg, the board member responsible for technical development at Audi, were expected to leave soon as the company tries to contain the damage, the German daily Bild-Zeitung reported Thursday. Meanwhile, Der Spiegel reported that Hans-Jakcob Neusser, head of development at the VW brand since 2013, had also been forced out.
Müller presided over a period of rapid growth as CEO of Porsche. He took that position in 2010 and oversaw the successful launch of two sport-utility vehicles. Müller studied computer science in Munich before joining VW’s Audi subsidiary in Ingolstadt in 1977.