SUSPENDED Audi chairman Rupert Stadler is leaving the company as well as parent firm Volkswagen with immediate effect, it was announced today.
It comes more than three months after he was arrested as part of a probe into Volkswagen’s manipulation of diesel emissions controls.
Volkswagen said today that it had reached an agreement with Stadler, pictured, adding in a statement that he wanted to concentrate on his defence. He was arrested in mid-June. Audi subsequently temporarily relieved him of his duties at his own request and named sales chief Abraham ‘Bram’ Schot as interim chairman.
German prosecutors ordered Stadler’s arrest owing to fears he might try to evade justice.
A week earlier, authorities searched his private residence on suspicion of fraud and indirect improprieties with documents.
The statement issued by Volkswagen today read as follows: ‘The supervisory boards of Volkswagen AG and Audi AG have today consented to the conclusion of an agreement with Rupert Stadler on the termination of his offices as a member of the board of management of Volkswagen AG and chairman of the board of management of Audi AG as well as of his service agreements.
‘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 pre-trial detention, he is unable to fulfil his duties as a member of the board of management and wishes to concentrate on his defence.
‘The contractual execution depends on the course and outcome of the criminal proceedings.’
It added that Stadler began working for Audi in 1990 and had worked for the Volkswagen Group since then. He joined the board of management of Audi AG on January 1, 2003 and was made chairman on January 1, 2007. He was also appointed to the board of management of Volkswagen AG on January 1, 2010.
The emissions scandal has rocked Volkswagen since 2015.