Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn announced Wednesday that he is resigning. No immediate successor has been named.
I am shocked by the events of the past few days. Above all, I am stunned that misconduct on such a scale was possible in the Volkswagen Group.
As CEO I accept responsibility for the irregularities that have been found in diesel engines and have therefore requested the Supervisory Board to agree on terminating my function as CEO of the Volkswagen Group. I am doing this in the interests of the company even though I am not aware of any wrong doing on my part.
Volkswagen needs a fresh start – also in terms of personnel. I am clearing the way for this fresh start with my resignation.
I have always been driven by my desire to serve this company, especially our customers and employees. Volkswagen has been, is and will always be my life.
The process of clarification and transparency must continue. This is the only way to win back trust. I am convinced that the Volkswagen Group and its team will overcome this grave crisis.
In a brief statement to journalists after a meeting of the group board’s subcommittee, deputy board chairman Berthold Huber told journalists that:
We want to stress that Herr Winterkorn had no knowledge of the manipulation of emissions level. We took with the highest respect his willingness to assume responsibility for Volkswagen in this difficult situation, and thereby send a clear signal.
German media reported Huber as saying that there would be no decision on naming Winterkorn’s successor until the full 20-strong board meets on Friday.
This is a developing story. For more on Winterkorn and his tenure at Volkswagen click here. For more on the emissions scandal read Fortune’s Geoffrey Smith.