Considering that Michael Horn for months is under attack, his resignation came now but very abrupt. “With immediate effect” would resign the 54-year-old head of the North American business of the VW brand, it said in a statement the Volkswagen Group on Wednesday night. A successor has not yet been found, for the time being to Hinrich Woebcken who runs the North American operations of the entire Volkswagen Group, Horns tasks additionally assume on an interim basis.
Otherwise, the Group was limited in its statement on hackneyed phrases. Horn go “by mutual agreement” and wanted to “pursue other plans”. Volkswagen boss Herbert Diess thanked him dutifully for his “great work”. Why Horn So right now go and not after the beginning of the affair exhaust manipulations in diesel vehicles, remains unclear. Horn was from the start in the twilight, especially as the trickery of authorities were uncovered in its American territory. He led the American business since the beginning of 2014 and had to wonder if he could have escaped the fraud so long.
Horn itself has always maintained that he knew nothing of the use of cheating software emission levels has been tampered with. He has only admitted to have been informed that in some VW models its emission standards did not meet. His sudden departure raises the question of whether there might be other information have come to light, the burden him. Horn is one of the managers, against whom the recently filed in behalf of consumers in America civil action. He is, however, in good company, as among the defendants are not only the former VW CEO Martin Winterkorn, but also the current CEO Matthias Müller and Rupert Stadler, the chairman of the subsidiary Audi.
Horn has long been something of a public crisis manager of VW in the United States. Just three days after learning of the manipulations he was in New York on stage to present a new Passat. VW had decided to go through with the already longer planned event, and Horn thus became the first manager of the group, which turned after the start of the affair of the limelight. It was a situation in which there was nothing to gain for him, and for that he was not a bad figure. He came straight to the scandal to speak and was appropriately subdued when he said: “We totally screwed up – we have it totally screwed up”
A few weeks later took Horn the company before a hearing. the US Congress in Washington, where the deputies bombarded him with aggressive questions. Here, too, he has at least made no major blunders. Some observers have wondered why Horn in the affair as long as the public face of VW in America was not and CEO Müller. Only in January traveled Müller himself for the first time since his arrival in the United States, where he held meetings with politicians and government officials in Washington, pointing at the auto show in Detroit. In Detroit, Müller was still alongside Horn. Now the career of Horn at VW, which began in 1990, came to an abrupt end.
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