Tensions at the top of Volkswagen Group are spilling over into public view, with CEO Herbert Diess criticizing opponents within the company who are standing in the way of radically transforming the automaker.
Writing in the German business newspaper Handelsblatt, Herbert Diess said that the company is highly influenced by labor unions who sometimes have different interests than shareholders.
"When I took office in Wolfsburg, I had firmly resolved to change the VW system," Diess said. "That means: breaking up old, encrusted structures and making the company more agile and modern. Together with many companions with the same level of motivation, I have succeeded in doing this in many places, but not in some, especially not yet at our corporate headquarters in Wolfsburg."
The latest call to speed up VW's overhaul reflects the challenges Diess, 62, has had pushing through more dramatic reforms.
Diess has struggled to win support from key stakeholders for his picks to fill top executive posts, people familiar with the matter said earlier this week, and is angry at the slow progress the company has made untangling its conglomerate structure and narrowing its focus to key brands.