Home: Motoring > Stadler encountered Waterloo at the peak. What should we learn from it?

Stadler encountered Waterloo at the peak. What should we learn from it?

From:网通社 2018-11-06 18:01:59

Editor’s Note: Rupert Stadler, who served as Head of the Board of Management's Office for the Volkswagen Group in his 30s, and additionally Head of Group Product Planning at less than 40. He became Chairman of the Board of Management of AUDI AG at 43. His promotion speed is just like that of a rocket launching. But, is it still possible to maintain a humble attitude while facing the big vanity of car market? Stadler apparently did not give a satisfactory answer to us after the diesel-emission cheating incident. Maybe because of his management major background or the protection of the Porsche-Piech clan, Stadler has always refused to face the incident. The Munich court has already imposed a penalty of 800 million euros on Audi. As the chairman of Audi for the past 11 years, Stadler needed to shoulder some responsibilities of it. However, as a financially-background CEO, it is unfair for him to shoulder such high level of technical responsibility. Steady also feels unfair with a very. But, as the head of a car company, you have to be responsible for knowing the technology. Just as a Chinese saying goes: ‘成也萧何,败也萧何’, meaning that either success or failure boils down to the same person. (Li San, senior vice president, IIA)

After spending the gloomiest four months of life in the prison in the southern German city of Augsburg, former Audi CEO Rupert Stadler will be released from jail after paying bail. However, this does not mean that Stadler has been cleared from suspicion in diesel-emission cheating case. The German prosecutor ordered him not to contact the personnel involved in the investigation after he was released from jail, which also indicates that the investigation related to the case is still continuing.

After all, Stadler has been cultivated by Volkswagen for years. The board of directors had always been reluctant to terminate his contract with VW until the beginning of October, even when he was in prison.

After being released, Stadler will still be investigated, and he may never be able to get back to his previous social status and position level. Enterprises needs development, the automobile industry also needs to move forward, and generations of automobile managers have always been brainstorming for the development of the enterprise. As a participant in the auto industry, whether we should think about something as well?

After the VW diesel-emission cheating case was exposed in September 2015, Stadler had been standing in the middle of media storm, but he can still serve as Audi’s head without being affected by it, and in 2017, extend his contract until 2022. It can be seen that Volkswagen recognizes his talents and the strong support behind him which are Volkswagen Group and Audi's two major shareholders, Porsche-Piech clan.

The reason why Stadler can be supported by the Porsche-Piech clan, some of his early experiences and the achievements he made after he took over the Audi may be the answer.

From a farmer’s son to the head of an international car company

In 1963, Stadler was born in Wachenzell in the Eichstatt region of Bavaria, Germany whose father was a farmer. Stadler, who should have been a farmer as well like his father, chose another path. He studied business management at Augsburg University of Applied Sciences, majoring in corporate planning/controllership and finance, banking and investment. After graduating, he started his career at Philips Kommunikation Industrie AG in Nuremberg. And this is also the first turning point in his life.

In 1990, Stadler joined AUDI AG, Ingolstadt, where he assumed various controlling tasks in the Sales and Marketing area. Stadler was a confidant of, and former assistant to, then-Volkswagen chairman Ferdinand Piech. That is another turning point for Stadler in his auto career.

Stadler switched to Volkswagen/Audi España SA, Barcelona, as Commercial Director in 1994. In that capacity, he was responsible for Controllership, Accounts, Personnel and Organization. From 1997, he was Head of the Board of Management's Office for the Volkswagen Group, and additionally Head of Group Product Planning from January 2002. He became AUDI AG Board Member with effect from 1 January 2003. From 1 April 2003 to 31 August 2007 Stadler was responsible for the Finance and Organization Division. He became Chairman of the Board of Management of AUDI AG on 1 January 2007. He joined the Board of Management of Volkswagen on 1 January 2010 in his capacity as Chairman of the Board of Management of AUDI AG.

Stadler, who has been deeply influenced by Piech for many years, is quite similar to Piech in his way of doing things. He was also an important one in the era of Martin Winterkorn. He was selected as one of the Winterkorn’s successors.

With years of corporate management experience and strong strategic mindset, during the 11 years he took over Audi, the company has achieved nearly double sales growth, from 960,000 in 2007 to 1.88 million in 2017, narrowing the gap between Mercedes-Benz and BMW. Audi surpassed Mercedes-Benz in 2012, 2013 and 2014 to become the world's second-largest luxury car brand. As the world's most important market, China gains great attention by Stadler. With his great efforts, the sales of Chinese model of the FAW-VW Audi had doubled, and he was also the most determined promoter of SAIC Audi.

Over the past ten years, Audi has achieved the fastest growth in China. Although the sales volume has declined after the SAIC-Audi incident broke out, it still retains its leading position in luxury cars in China for many years. At the same time, in the critical period of automobile industry transformation, Stadler proactively promoted the transformation and development of Audi to electrification and intelligence.

Thinking and introspection: What should be the most important thing to hold?

At the age of 44, he served as the CEO of this international luxury car brand and was a member of the board of directors of the world's largest car company. We can see Stadler' s ability to be a good manager and the effort for Audi's development. Even today, when the company is encouraging a younger executive management team, his achievements in this field are not easily achieved by any car professional manager.

On the other hand, Stadler is the highest-ranking Volkswagen executive to be arrested in connection to the diesel emissions cheating scandal. As Audi’s icon, the prosecution will not ignore any investigations on him. The root cause of the incident has many reasons. Even though the trade-offs of the interests involved are assessed, Stadler, who has multiple positions and has an absolute right to make decisions and management in Audi, can hardly be absolved from the blame.

Volkswagen is facing a critical period of transition from traditional auto manufacturer to mobile travel service providers. The incident has caused the group to pay more than 30 billion US dollars for fines and to recall cars, and lose many main managers and technical engineers. Wait for talent. Dr. Herbert Diess, who took over the position not long ago, will need to adjust the new personnel structure, and also to ensure that the Volkswagen Group's global business and established strategy are functioning properly. Until the incident has not been closed file, anything is still unknown.

However, it is worth thinking about what is the most important thing that should be adhered to as a company and a manager while promoting the development and progress of the entire industry.

Editor:Wang Jingya