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Volkswagen CEO Winterkorn Announces Resignation

Following intense criticism in the wake of Volkswagen’s emissions cheating scandal, CEO Martin Winterkorn has announced his resignation. “Volkswagen needs a fresh start,” wrote Winterkorn in a statement, “also in terms of personnel. I am clearing the way for this fresh start with my resignation.” Winterkorn maintained that he is “shocked by the events of the last few days,” alluding to the discovery by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that Volkswagen had used software to cheat on emissions testing in its so-called “clean diesel” vehicles. “Above all, I am stunned that misconduct on such a scale was possible in the Volkswagen Group,” Winterkorn wrote. “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.” This announcement appears to be a change of heart for Winterkorn, who just yesterday released an apologetic video explaining how Volkswagen planned to proceed. Winterkorn, as The New York Times has pointed out, is the highest paid executive in Germany, with an annual salary of nearly $18 million. There’s no official word yet on who will replace Winterkorn, but reports have already surfaced that Porsche CEO Matthias Müeller is next in line for the job.

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