Europe’s largest automaker Volkswagen is overhauling its corporate culture in order to compete better with IT giants like Google, Apple and Tesla, that are muscling in on its market, according to Karlheinz Blessing, the company’s chief of human resources.
The moves are also a response to the Dieselgate scandal, where Volkswagen admitted installing software that falsified emissions data on some diesel engines. The admission and consequent fallout shook the company to its core and raised questions over whether its corporate culture may have been a factor in the deception.
Some critics allege that Volkswagen executives espoused a win-at-all-costs attitude and instructed engineers, however subtly, to find workarounds for environmental regulations.
The company wants to promote more women, make sure all senior managers speak good English and flatten hierarchies. “Volkswagen is in a process of deep transformation. We’re changing our organizational structure, our internal processes, our mindset and our values,” Mr. Blessing said.