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Car and Driver: BREAKING: Volkswagen USA CEO Michael Horn Steps Down

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-Michael Horn, President and CEO of Volkswagen Group of America, has left the company, VW announced on March 9. The automaker says Horn is departing “through mutual agreement with Volkswagen AG,” and that he will “pursue other opportunities effective immediately.” Horn will be replaced by Hinrich Woebcken, head of the North American Region and Chairman of Volkswagen Group of America, on an interim basis.

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Horn, 54, has worked for Volkswagen since 1990 and was named president and CEO of Volkswagen Group of America in January 2014.

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While the departing CEO has not been directly implicated in Volkswagen’s ongoing diesel emissions scandal, the situation has doubtless been a major headache for him. At the U.S. debut of the Volkswagen Passat in New York, just three days after VW’s emissions cheating became public, Horn took the stage to issue a lengthy apology, saying “we totally screwed up.”

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“I want personally to say ‘thank you’ to Michael Horn for the great work he has done for the brand and with the dealers in the United States,” Herbert Diess, CEO of Volkswagen brand, said in the announcement of Horn’s resignation. “During his time in the US, Michael Horn built up a strong relationship with our national dealer body and showed exemplary leadership during difficult times for the brand.”

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A version of this story originally appeared on Road & Track.

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