Germany's seemingly never-ending diesel emissions scandal has just claimed another CEO. This time it's Audi's Rupert Stadler, as Volkswagen AG canceled his contract in the face of a criminal investigation, according to a statement it released on Tuesday. What's the German word for bummer?
Stadler has generally been having a pretty crappy year, having been taken into custody by German officials in June for his involvement in the cover-up of diesel emissions cheating and being suspended by VW AG during that time. Now, the home office is terminating him, effective immediately from both his position as CEO of Audi and his seat on the management board at the Volkswagen Group.
"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 defence," VW said in its statement on Tuesday.
Stadler had been running the brand with the four rings since 2007, and before that, he was an assistant to Ferdinand Piech, then chairman of the Volkswagen Group. His arrest in June and subsequent detention was meant to prevent him from interfering with the German government's investigation into the Dieselgate scandal.
Audi sales executive Bram Schot is currently acting as Stadler's interim replacement, but it's rumored that the newly-hired-from-BMW Markus Duesmann could snag Stadler's job long-term thanks to his history of emissions-friendly engine development in Munich.