Business Essentials for Professionals


Rare U.S. Safe-Passage Deal Granted To Volkswagen CEO

Rare U.S. Safe-Passage Deal Granted To Volkswagen CEO
A rare safe-passage deal was granted to Volkswagen’s old chief executive officer by the United States not long after authorities there had filed sealed charges against him.
According to media reports, Herbert Diess was allowed to move about freely anywhere in the world without having to worry about being getting arrested in connection to the diesel-rigging investigation. The executive had bene recently promoted by the German automaker top lead the company.
Reports, quoting people with knowledge of the matter, stated that verbal assurance that he would be provided prior notice if the authorities decided to charge him in its emissions cheating probe. Diess is not accused of any wrongdoing even though he had joined the automaker a couple months before the scandal became public in September 2015.
This agreement with the U.S. authorities had enabled Diess to be able to efficiently manage the company which has 12 brands and 120 factories that are spread throughout the globe. He would be required to travel a lot around the world for purposes such as releasing new models representing the German automaker. The former CEO of VW, Martin Winterkorn, was indicted under seal in March. The criminal charges against Winterkorn were publicly announced on May 3 and he is likely to be arrested if he goes to the United States.
It is being perceived that Diess desired extra assurance of not being detained while he travelled frequently around the world on work for the global car manufacturer or he had some security concerns from U.S. authorities related to the diesel scandal. Volkswagen did not agree to a last week proposal by a request by the U.S. House of Representatives in the U.S. of Diess testifying before it about what the company was doing efforts to address diesel-cheating. The automaker said that such a hearing is “not necessary.”
The deal was described to be unusual by former prosecutors and criminal defense lawyers. There could be a belief among U.S. authorities that Diess would be providing useful information for the diesel scandal investigations or they are not charging him at all, they said.
There were no comments to the news reports from either Volkswagen or the U.S. Department of Justice.
According to a 2016 company statement, emissions irregularities in the U.S. were explained to senior managers of VW which included Diess, who had been attending the routine “damage table” meeting on July 27, 2015, in Wolfsburg as a fresh recruit at the company.
According to investigators, the most important moment in the diesel scandal was perhaps that meeting where Winterkorn “approved the continued concealment of the cheating software from U.S. regulators.” This has bene revealed in the unsealed indictment against the former CEO by the U.S. prosecutors.
It is assumed that Diess would potentially be aware of what was said by Winterkorn and others who had attended the meeting since he was present in the meeting. There is a n ongoing investigation against Diess in Germany, together with Winterkorn, seeking to find out if there was a market manipulation by them because they had not gone to the public with the information sooner than they did.

Christopher J. Mitchell

Markets | Companies | M&A | Innovation | People | Management | Lifestyle | World | Misc