Volkswagen CEO Mueller Gets 40% Compensation Hike

Special breaks let him exceed caps on salary and benefits.

by on Mar.13, 2018

VW CEO Matthias Mueller received a 40% raise in 2017.

Volkswagen’s comeback from the diesel scandal is almost complete. Volkswagen Group reported record earnings for 2017 and this resulted in CEO Matthias Mueller seeing his compensation package jump 40%.

The 64-year-old Mueller’s contract expires in 2020.

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The jump in pay and other benefits to nearly $12.5 million, according to the company, may seem somewhat startling since it was only two years ago the German automaker was firing executives, eliminating bonuses and implementing a new, more restrictive set of rules for compensation.

Perhaps even more surprising is that Mueller earned nearly 20% more than Daimler Chief Executive Dieter Zetsche made for 2017, when Daimler’s Mercedes-Benz brand beat rivals Audi and BMW in global luxury-car sales for a second year.

(VW developing unique platform for Audi, Porsche and Bentley. Click Here for the story.)

In 2016, Mueller earned 7.3 billion euros under VW’s then backward-looking remuneration system, which allowed bonuses to be partly based on VW’s performance during the previous two years, according to Reuters.

As part of the changes made carmaker’s supervisory board, executive compensation for the CEO was capped at 10 million euros and other top managers at 5.5 million euros. Under Germany’s HGB commercial code, overall compensation of VW group’s top executive board jumped 27& to 50.3 million euros last year from 39.6 million a year earlier, VW said.

(Click Here for details about the end of the VW Beetle.)

Sources at VW said Mueller’s salary package exceeded the 10 million limit because of perks and retirement provisions that are usually included under HGB rules, Reuters reported. Without those, the CEO would have earned about 9.5 million euros.

Volkswagen has been on a roll since it admitted its diesel wrongdoing, agreed to pay more than $30 billion in fines, fees and other penalties and became evangelists for electric vehicles. The automaker began its comeback in earnest in the United States when it began filling the holes in its SUV portfolio.

(To see more about VW’s I.D. Vizzion hitting showrooms by 2022, Click Here.)

The new Atlas SUV has sold well and the reconfigured Tiguan is enjoying a bit of a rebirth. It has been leading the charge with a series of new electric vehicles that are expected to hit the roads around the world in the next two years.

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