Will the prodigal Bernhard return to Chrysler?

It's no secret that Wolfgang Bernhard, the VW brand's head honcho, is not happy with the fact that current VW Group Chairman Bernd Pischetsrider is resigning at the end of the year. Pischetsrieder was one of the major players involved in bringing Bernhard over from DaimlerChrysler and tasking the dapper executive with VeeDub's turnaround. Adding salt to the wound is who was chosen to replace Pischetsrieder as the Chairman of the VW Group – Martin Winterkorn, Bernhard's counterpart at Audi who will on January 1st of 2007 become his boss.

We've heard rumblings that Bernhard wants out of VW over all this, and Automotive News is reporting that internal discussions have taken place concerning the cancellation of Bernhard's contract. This would allow Bernhard to immediately seek employment from other automakers, which at the moment is blocked by a non-compete clause that lasts for two years after he leaves the company. What's more, Bernhard has already met with former colleague Dieter Zetsche, who could likely find a place for Bernhard at DaimlerChrysler. AN hypothesizes the most vulnerable exec at DCX right now is Tom LaSordo who, despite being a nice enough guy, hasn't been able to get The Chrysler Group back on track after suffering heavy losses this year. Would we like to see Bernhard back at DaimlerChrysler? Damn skippy – this is the guy who once rode into the Detroit Auto Show on the back of a Viper motor. He's got our vote.

[Source: Automotive News - sub. required]

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