VW AG has ended its contract with Rupert Stadler, removing the embattled executive as CEO and from the Audi and Volkswagen boards several months after he was arrested for his involvement in the cover-up of diesel emissions cheating at the company.
Stadler, who began working at Audi in 1990, is the latest executive at parent company Volkswagen AG to be ousted in the wake of the diesel emissions cheating scandal that erupted three years ago. The scandal has implicated numerous executives and several brands under VW Group, including Volkswagen, Audi and even Porsche.
The diesel emissions scandal broke in 2015 when it was revealed that Volkswagen Group’s so-called “Clean Diesel” vehicles had been fitted with software designed to cheat emissions tests.
Volkswagen fired its CEO Martin Winterkorn in 2015 for his connection to the scandal. Winterkorn was later charged with conspiracy and wire fraud in a U.S. court. Three years later, his replacement, Matthias Müller, was also removed as Volkswagen CEO and replaced with Herbert Diess.
Stadler was suspended as CEO following his arrest by German authorities in June in connection with a criminal investigation into the diesel emissions cheating. Stadler is still in jail.
Bram Schot has been acting as temporary CEO since Stadler’s arrest.
Here’s VW’s statement:
The supervisory boards of Volkswagen AG and AUDI AG have today consented to the conclusion of an agreement with Rupert Stadler on the termination of his offices as a member of the board of management of Volkswagen AG and chairman of the board of management of AUDI AG as well as of his service agreements. Mr. Stadler is leaving the companies with immediate effect and will no longer work for the Volkswagen Group. Mr. Stadler is doing so because, due to his ongoing pretrial detention, he is unable to fulfill his duties as a member of the board of management and wishes to concentrate on his defense. The contractual execution depends on the course and outcome of the criminal proceedings.
Stadler joined the company’s board in 2003. He was made chairman of Audi AG four years later. In 2010, Stadler was appointed to Volkswagen AG’s board.