Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn is resigning amid an emissions-cheating scandal that has rocked the German automaker since it was disclosed late last week.
Winterkorn announced Wednesday (Sept. 23) that he is stepping down. In a statement, he accepted responsibility for what happened, but denied any wrongdoing on his part.
“I am shocked by the events of the past few days,” he said. “Above all, I am stunned that misconduct on such a scale was possible in the Volkswagen Group.”
Last Friday, Volkswagen was ordered by the US Environmental Protection Agency to recall hundreds of thousands of its diesel vehicles for allegedly installing software designed to cheat emissions inspections. The company later revealed that the diesel-engine software was installed in more than 11 million cars around the world.
The company announced on Tuesday that it was taking a more than $7 billion charge to earnings and cut its full-year outlook. Volkswagen’s shares fell 33% between the closing bell on Friday, when the recall first announced, and Tuesday afternoon.
Volkswagen has not yet announced Winterkorn’s successor. The company said it expects “further personnel consequences in the next days,” and that recommendations “for new personnel will be presented at the upcoming meeting of the Supervisory Board this Friday”.