Dieselgate: Audi CEO Rupert Stadler Relieved of Position After Months in Prison

Stadler joins a long list of Volkswagen and Audi executives to be released from the auto group after diesel emissions scandal.

Troubled Audi CEO Rupert Stadler has officially left his post at the German automaker after being jailed as a result of the tumultuous Volkswagen Group Dieselgate scandal.

The supervisory boards from both VW and Audi are said to have reached an agreement with Stadler to end his employment. 

A statement from VW reads: “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 fulfill his duties as a member of the board of management and wishes to concentrate on his defense. The contractual execution depends on the course and outcome of the criminal proceedings.”

Stadler was arrested in June of this year and has remained in prison since. An appeal was made for his release but resultantly turned down in August by the Munich court with the judiciary body saying, “The chamber emphasizes that danger of obstructing justice remains. The release of the accused from custody was therefore rejected.”

Former Director of Purchasing at BMW, Markus Duesmann, will serve as Stadler’s official replacement according to multiple German reports. A previously released statement from Audi claims Duesmann to be “one of the automotive industry’s most experienced and distinguished experts,” who has “a wealth of knowledge in different areas of the industry.”

Stadler stands as the highest-level executive to be imprisoned as a result of the Volkswagen Group’s diesel emissions scandal. He is joined on the list of arrested corporate members by VW’s former U.S. Compliance Chief, Oliver Schmidt, and Porsche’s ex-head of engine development, Joerg Kerner, among others. Former VW CEO Martin Winterkorn also stepped down days after formal charges of fraud were brought against him.

In all, the Dieselgate scandal has cost the auto group billions of dollars with legal requirements to invest an additional $2 billion in American electric vehicle infrastructure development.