MUNICH -- Volkswagen Group has picked one of its most experienced executives, Francisco Javier Garcia Sanz, to oversee the cleanup of its diesels scandal. The automaker also named Skoda's Frank Welsch as VW brand's new head of technical development.
Garcia Sanz, 58, will supervise the "systematic processing of the diesel issue," alongside his role as VW Group procurement chief, the company said in a statement.
Garcia Sanz hands over his role as VW brand procurement boss to Ralf Brandstaetter, 47, a 22-year VW Group veteran who has been head of purchasing for new product launches since 2012.
The changes take immediate effect, VW said.
Welsch succeeds Heinz-Jakob Neusser, whom reports said had been suspended since the emissions scandal broke in September. Neusser will remain available to take on other responsibilities in the company, the statement said.
Garcia Sanz has been VW Group procurement head since 2002 when the group role was added to his job as VW brand procurement boss that he had held since 1996. The Madrid-born executive had earlier worked for General Motors' Opel division.
Welsch, 51, joined VW Group in 1994 and has been head of technical development at VW Group Czech subsidiary Skoda since 2012.
VW Group has admitted that up to 11 million VW, Audi, Skoda and Seat diesel cars sold worldwide may have illegal software to fool tests for NOx emissions. U.S. regulators have also targeted 85,000 VW, Audi and Porsche models with 3.0-liter V-6 diesel engines fitted with emissions-control equipment that was not properly disclosed.
Analysts say the cost of the scandal could top 40 billion euros ($44 billion) for fines, lawsuits and vehicle refits.
VW also appointed Karlheinz Blessing, chief executive of German steelmaker Dillinger Huette, as new personnel chief. Blessing will get a five-year contract and replace 66-year-old Horst Neumann who retired on Nov. 30
Reuters and Bloomberg contributed to this report