Volkswagen Group is preparing to name sales and marketing boss Bram Schot as interim chief at its Audi unit, according to a person familiar with the matter, following the arrest of CEO Rupert Stadler in connection with VW’s diesel-emissions cheating.
Stadler, 55, has been placed on leave by VW Group after Munich prosecutors took him into custody in the early hours of Monday at his home in Ingolstadt, Germany, sources said.
The arrest took Volkswagen and its investors by surprise. Stadler, named a suspect in the long-running diesel probe days ago, is accused of fraud and falsifying public documents in relation to selling diesel cars in Europe. He has agreed to testify to prosecutors later this week.
With Stadler’s ensnarement, German prosecutors probing VW since September 2015 have finally broken through to the automaker’s higher ranks. Stadler’s arrest also raises new questions about a VW response that’s alternated between stonewalling and cooperation, while protecting its most senior managers.
German newspaper Bild reported that VW Group's supervisory board had delayed a decision on Stadler's future after a six-hour board metting on Monday but Schot remains ready to take over his position.
Schot joined Volkswagen from Daimler in 2011 and has held roles in its commercial vehicles unit. The 56-year-old executive was named to Audi’s management board last year, long after the VW scandal erupted.
Stadler will be questioned by Wednesday at the latest, once he has had a chance to confer with his lawyers, the Munich prosecutors' office said.
Reuters contributed to this report