Volkswagen has chosen Porsche's Matthias Muller as the company's new CEO, The Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg reported Thursday.
Muller, 62, will reportedly replace Martin Winterkorn, who stepped down Wednesday as VW chief after a global emissions scandal devastated the company and cut the market value of the world's biggest car company by nearly a third.
Winterkorn is leaving Volkswagen with a severance package worth more than $65 million. Bloomberg News reports that Winterkorn amassed a $32 million pension before stepping down Wednesday, and he may reap millions more in payoff depending on how his exit is classified by the board. The Wall Street Journal estimates the total package could exceed $65 million.
Winterkorn, VW's top boss since 2007 and architect of Volkswagen's American growth strategy that brought VW to Chattanooga, came under intense pressure since the disclosure that stealth software makes VW's 2009-2015 model cars powered by 2.0-liter diesel engines run cleaner during emissions tests than in actual driving.
The EPA accused VW of installing the "defeat device" in 482,000 cars sold in the U.S. VW then acknowledged that similar software exists in 11 million diesel cars worldwide.
Winterkorn was the first VW employee to resign after the scandal came to light last Friday. Up to 11 million vehicles may have been affected.
Winterkorn was the second-highest paid CEO in Germany last year, receiving more than 15 million euros in compensation, Bloomberg said. In a statement, Winterkorn took responsibility for the "irregularities" found in diesel engines but said he was "not aware of any wrongdoing on my part."
Winterkorn said VW must continue providing "clarification and transparency."
"This is the only way to win back trust. I am convinced that the Volkswagen Group and its team will overcome this grave crisis," he said before departing the company.
Muller is a management board member of Porsche SE and is close to the Piech-Porsche family that controls Volkswagen through the holding company. He also spent many years at Audi.
"He is a good choice even though he may be seen as a transitionary CEO until another internal candidate such as VW brand CEO Herbert Diess has earned their stripes," Arndt Ellinghorst, an analyst at Evercore ISI investment banking advisory firm, told Reuters news service.
Read more about Volkswagen's diesel emissions scandal
Volkswagen Group of America head to testify before Congress
Volkswagen brand sales trail auto market
VW sales in U.S. rise slightly despite scandal
U.S. states issue subpoena in Volkswagen investigation
VW: Nothing has changed inside Volkswagen's only U.S. assembly plant
Cooper: VW should take a page from Tylenol
VW cuts shift at German plant, freezes some hiring
VW expansion, production on track in Chattanooga despite diesel scandal, state officials say
Volkswagen appoints new chief of North American operations
VW to refit diesel vehicles
Gov. Haslam worried about VW scandal's effect on sales, jobs at Chattanooga plant
Volkswagen faces major legal trouble in emissions scandal
VW faces daunting challenges in fixing emissions cheating
VW was reportedly warned about illegal emissions tricks year ago
German prosecutors open investigation into ex-Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn
Volkswagen to reorganize North American operations
Tennessee judge sues VW in emissions scandal
Tennessee part of multi-state investigation into Volkswagen
EPA changing emissions tests after being duped by VW for seven years
Volkswagen sued by Chattanooga area residents
Reports: Volkswagen to pick Porsche's Matthias Muller as new CEO
Ex-Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn may get $60 million severance package
More resignations expected at Volkswagen
VW workers 'trying to make light of situation, but we just don't know'
VW faces growing number of class action lawsuits
Why most VW drivers may not let their cars be recalled
Volkswagen CEO steps down, takes responsibility for scandal
German official cautions against talking down VW
Biggest VW dealer says 'Volkswagen brand is at risk'
Six big questions about Volkswagen's emissions crisis
Tarnished: State Senate, U.S. House panels plan hearings on VW's diesel deception
VW officials assure Berke that Chattanooga SUV is 'critical' to their market strategy
Emissions testers approving VW vehicles that pass inspection until directed to do otherwise
Lawmakers move quickly to grill VW over diesel deception
Volkswagen CEO says he is 'endlessly sorry' for emissions deception as VW issues profit warning
Will pollution scandal ruin Volkswagen in the United States?
Volkswagen says 11 million vehicles worldwide affected by pollution scandal
Volkswagen's reputation erodes as diesel emissions scandal widens
Sohn: What was Volkswagen thinking?
Cooper: VW brand on the line
VW unveils new Passat design for 2016
VW rocked by emissions scandal as prosecutors come calling
For 7 years, VW software thwarted pollution regulations
VW scandal has TN officials fuming after giving millions in incentives
Volkswagen tells dealers to stop selling 2015 diesel cars
Sohn: VW's alleged emissions 'defeat device' disheartening
VW could be fined $18 billion for cheating on emission rules
VW stock crashes after admitting it rigged U.S. emission tests
EPA: VW intentionally violates clean air standards