Audi CEO may not stay through 2022 due to board pact, report says

on Jun5

Stadler’s contract as Audi CEO was extended on May 17 this year until the end of 2022.

BERLIN — Embattled Audi CEO Rupert Stadler only received a five-year contract extension last month because of an agreement among supervisory board members that he would not serve out his full term, two sources close to the company’s supervisory board told Reuters.

How long Stadler will remain in his current position remains unclear, the sources said. Stadler’s contract was extended on May 17 this year until the end of 2022.

Since his contract was extended, Stadler has come under additional pressure after it emerged that Munich prosecutors had widened an investigation into the automaker and after Germany’s transport ministry accused Audi of cheating on emissions tests.

Munich prosecutors have been investigating Audi on suspicion of fraud and criminal advertising in the United States, where parent Volkswagen’s emissions violations broke in September 2015.

They have expanded the inquiry to include vehicle sales in the brand’s home region, a spokesman for prosecutors said earlier this week.

Audi is a division of Volkswagen Group.

Volkswagen’s former CEO, Martin Winterkorn, came under similar pressure after the diesel emissions scandal broke on Sept. 18, 2015. Despite receiving a contract extension on September 2, 2015, he was out by September 23, 2015.

VW has said its executive board did not learn of the software violations until late August 2015 and formally reported the cheating to U.S. authorities in early September that year.

Winterkorn has refused to say when he first learned about systematic exhaust emissions cheating but said it was no earlier than VW has officially admitted.

He has denied personal involvement in the scandal.

Audi and Volkswagen were not immediately available for comment. Stadler’s office had no immediate comment late on Saturday.

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