Larry Thompson

Volkswagen’s Personal Watchdog Has Arrived

Cars drive through the “Sandkamp Gate” to the Volkswagen factory in Wolfsburg
Monitor Larry Thompson has made it to Wolfsburg. Picture source: Reuters

Larry Thompson, the former US deputy attorney general under president George W. Bush, has a reputation for taking decisive action. He is now tasked with preventing any future transgressions at Volkswagen, where the monitor will spend the next three years overseeing the implementation of reforms.

VW management is keen to provide a warm welcome to the independent monitor, who will review corporate changes under a plea agreement Germany’s largest carmaker struck with the US Justice Department. Mr. Thompson, who arrived at Volkswagen headquarters in Wolfsburg on Tuesday, will set up shop at VW’s converted former data center, just a few steps from the building that houses the offices of VW CEO Matthias Müller and the other executive board members.

To ensure Mr. Thompson’s comfort, the building underwent intense renovation. Some 20 members of the lawyer’s monitoring team have already moved in, an additional 40 are expected to join at a later stage. Eager to prove its willingness for collaboration, Volkswagen will set up its own internal team of some 50 staff, dedicated to helping the US guests with any required research. “We are in the process of setting up,” said Hiltrud Werner, the head of Volkswagen auditing, who assumed her role in January last year. Mr. Thompson will also receive support by Manfred Döss, VW’s chief counsel, who is said to be supportive of the American.


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