Six months following the Volkswagen TDI scandal, more heads are on the chopping block. This time, the head of Volkswagen’s U.S. unit is out.
Wednesday, VW announced that Michael Horn, President and CEO of Volkswagen Group America, is stepping down to pursue “other opportunities”. This is the latest departure stemming from the diesel scandal that’s shaken VW to its core.
Last fall, VW admitted it used software defeat devices to cheat U.S. emissions tests. It still hasn’t come up with a fix and earlier this week, California regulators said they didn’t think there was a full fix available.
Horn’s departure comes just days after VW’s global chief Matthias Mueller warned workers tough times were ahead for the company. Mueller replaced CEO Martin Winterkorn who resigned following the scandal. VW’s leadership says to expect more unpleasant details about the TDI scandal to come to light as Germany widens its investigation. Layoffs are possible depending on fines both in the U.S. and Europe where VW has come up for a fix.
Horn, who spent 25 years with VW, will be replaced on an interim basis by Hinrich Woebcken. Woebcken will take over as head of VW’s North American region on April 1st.
Read VW’s full statement regarding former U.S. CEO Michael Horn’s departure below:
Volkswagen would like to thank Horn for his contributions to the company during his tenure in the United States. “I want personally to say ‘thank you’ to Michael Horn for the great work he has done for the brand and with the dealers in the United States,” said Herbert Diess, CEO of Volkswagen brand. “During his time in the U.S., Michael Horn built up a strong relationship with our national dealer body and showed exemplary leadership during difficult times for the brand,” he added.
Michael Horn (54) assumed the role as president and CEO of Volkswagen Group of America in January 2014 and has over twenty five years of experience with the Volkswagen Group. Prior to his current role, Horn served as the Global Head of After Sales at Volkswagen AG (VW). Horn joined Volkswagen in 1990 and has held many roles of increasing responsibility within the brand over his tenure, including Head of Volkswagen sales North West Europe, Head of sales and marketing luxury class vehicles, and Head of sales for Europe.