Vahland was appointed to run to North American region during VW's massive corporate shakeup on September 25. The decision was part of the automaker's plan to put a greater emphasis on regions and brands, rather than on centralized authority. According to Automotive News Europe citing a report from Germany's Auto Bild, Vahland was passed over for the CEO job, with Matthias Müller taking that position. Amidst the changes, Michael Horn remained at the helm of Volkswagen Group of America, reporting to the new regional boss.
Vahland joined the automaker in 1990 and started running VW's operations in China in 2005. He became boss at Skoda in 2010. "In the last 25 years, Prof. Vahland made a great contribution to the company. We respect his decision and thank him for his exceptional performance," Müller said in the departure announcement.
Prof. Dr. Winfried Vahland leaves Volkswagen Group
Mladá Boleslav, 14 October 2015 – After 25 years of successful work in Volkswagen Group, most recently as Chairman of ŠKODA, Prof. Dr. Winfried Vahland is leaving the company at his own request. Prof. Vahland will therefore not be taking up the position of overall responsibility for the North American Region (NAR). Differing views on the organisation of the new Group region have led to this decision; this decision is expressly not related to current events on the issue of diesel engines.
Prof. Vahland began his work in Volkswagen Group in 1990. After holding several key positions at home and abroad, he took over Group responsibility as President and CEO of Volkswagen in China in 2005 and contributed significantly to the successful new direction of Volkswagen in China. He was appointed Chairman of the Board of Management of ŠKODA in 2010. Under his leadership, ŠKODA implemented the largest growth and model campaign in the brand's history and positioned ŠKODA sustainably as a successful international high-volume brand.
The CEO of Volkswagen Group, Matthias Müller emphasised: "In the last 25 years, Prof. Vahland made a great contribution to the company. We respect his decision and thank him for his exceptional performance."