FRANKFURT -- Audi's supervisory board backed CEO Rupert Stadler, saying allegations brought against him by a former Audi employee suing for wrongful termination were not accurate.
"The supervisory board has in the past few days had law firm Gleiss Lutz examine the allegations brought against Rupert Stadler by the terminated Audi employee and has had the results reported to it," Audi said in a statement on Friday. "This examination comes to the conclusion that the allegations against Mr. Stadler are not accurate," it said.
Two sources had told Reuters on Thursday that Stadler was expected to win the backing of top officials at Audi and parent company Volkswagen Group, despite criticism of his handling of the group's emissions scandal and the suit brought by the former Audi employee.
VW Group admitted in September 2015 to using illegal software to disguise the true level of toxic emissions from diesel engines. But it wasn't for another two months that premium brand Audi, the VW group's biggest profit engine, admitted wrongdoing, after initially saying it was not involved. That has long led to criticism of Stadler - both among staff, according to sources within the company, and in the media.
That criticism intensified earlier this week when German labor court started hearing a case for wrongful dismissal of a former Audi employee, the sources said. Audi has fired four engineers from its diesel division over the emissions scandal.
Audi has said previously that Stadler testified to VW's inquiry into the emissions scandal, led by U.S. law firm Jones Day, and that he was not accused of any wrongdoing in the detailed statement published by U.S. authorities following their investigation.