Volkswagen fired its CEO, Herbert Diess over software and a mix of other issues including upsetting the Porsche and Piech families, according to a report from Automobilwoche. The report noted that the families no longer trusted Diess to lead VW into the future.
The now former CEO of VW who also happens to be very pro-EV, was unexpectedly fired from the company a couple of days ago.
Software Issues And the Porsche and Piech Families
According to the Automobilwoche, the “driving force” for Diess to go was the Porsche and Piech families. Apparently, he had been getting on the families’ nerves for a long time. This and the accusation that Porsche and Audi jeopardized the Cariad project with their need for special requests upset the Porsche family.
Additionally, Diess shared his solution for Cariad at a meeting but only presented it to the supervisory board a week and a half later. This, the article emphasized, caused resentment.
It also pointed out that Diess isn’t completely fired from the company since his contract was extended last year to October 2025.
ARK Invest’s Brent Winton’s Thoughts.
ARK Invest’s Brett Winton shared his thoughts on the matter. He pointed out that the OEMs still look at software as a cosmetic cost-center instead of the key performance differentiator. This, he said, will be their death.
Elon Musk on Herbert Diess being fired.
When asked by @WholeMarsBlog to share his thoughts about VW letting Diess go, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said that software is the key to the future. This echoes what Brett Winton said.
Will VW be as pro EV as it was under Diess?
I don’t know the answer to that question but I suspect no–not at the level Diess is. I’m sure they will be pro-EV enough to try to compete with Tesla but no more than that.
Elon Musk and Herbert Diess highly respect one another. Last year, Elon Musk virtually appeared at VW managers’ 2021 Leadership Summit where the now former VW CEO emphasized the importance of changing the company’s mindset in order to take on new competition.
I don’t think the new CEO will be as openly supportive of Tesla’s CEO as Diess was. Who knows? I might be proven wrong. The future will be interesting.