The German automaker’s quality assurance chief Frank Tuch is resigning, the Wall Street Journal reports, becoming the latest casualty of last year’s emissions scandal:
Mr. Tuch was among a group of Volkswagen executives who were suspended when Volkswagen launched its investigation of the emissions-cheating affair last year, according to people familiar with the matter, but he hasn’t been charged with any wrongdoing. Volkswagen said he resigned to pursue other interests.
Tuch’s resignation comes less than two months after CEO Matthias Müller radically reorganized VW’s senior management team, reflecting a realization that a dysfunctional management culture played a major role in allowing the scandal, which is costing the company billions of euros, to happen. The labor chief at Audi, a Volkswagen property, announced late last week that he was also pushing for changes in his organization’s leadership culture in response to the scandal, according to Reuters:
Audi’s labor leaders have long been calling for a new leadership culture by making it more open, less hierarchical, and by promoting greater trust among workers and managers. “Now we also want a thorough implementation” of new leadership principles, Audi works council chief Peter Mosch said in an interview. “I am really holding management responsible.”
Culture problems are increasingly being recognized as the root causes of lapses in quality control and accountability that can lead to major scandals. Earlier this month, an independent review of how Japanese auto parts maker Takata allowed a fatally defective airbag to go to market blamed the failure partly on a company culture that discouraged employees from coming forward with safety concerns.