12 Jul VW to replace software division boss, paper says
BERLIN – Volkswagen is replacing its head of software development, a German business daily newspaper reported on Sunday, as the automaker wrestles with the transition to electric vehicles.
Handelsblatt said Christian Senger, a former BMW manager who currently runs the recently founded Car.Software unit, would be replaced after clashes with the company and concern about software problems with the recent ID3 full-electric and the eighth-generation of the Golf, VW top-seller in Europe.
Senger was part of a network of external managers CEO Herbert Diess had brought in to reform the company.
Senger, after working on BMW’s i3 electric car, helped VW make its MEB electric car platform, which is a key pillar of the automaker’s revival in the wake of a diesel-emissions cheating scandal in 2015.
The software post is one of the most important in the development of new-generation electric vehicles, which are far more reliant on computer power than the combustion engines that have been VW’s mainstay.
VW declined to comment on the report.
A management purge has already seen Andreas Renschler, a former Mercedes-Benz manager, leave his post as head of the Traton trucks unit, and Stefan Sommer, a former CEO of auto supplier ZF, leave his post as VW Group’s procurement chief.
Senger was also leaving his post as a member of the board of VW Group’s core VW brand, the newspaper said, although it added that Diess was hoping he would stay with the company.
VW’s powerful works council, led by Bernd Osterloh, has forced out cost-cutters at the company in the past. Wolfgang Bernhard, a former VW brand chief, and Bernd Pischetsrieder, a former head of the VW Group, quit following clashes with labor leaders.