VW Manager To Become Porsche CEO

BERLIN (AP) -- Porsche said Tuesday that Matthias Mueller, a top manager at Volkswagen AG, will take over as chief executive of the sports car maker later this year — a move that underlined Volkswagen and Porsche's progress toward a merger.

Mueller, 57, will succeed Michael Macht Oct. 1, Porsche said.

Macht is moving to Volkswagen to take responsibility for group production; he will replace Jochem Heizmann, who will oversee the truck business.

Mueller is currently responsible for product planning, product management and models at Volkswagen.

Mueller has extensive experience of cooperation between brands in an integrated car company, Porsche supervisory board chief Wolfgang Porsche said.

Porsche last year lost a bid to take over the much larger Volkswagen, which turned the tables and is now moving toward a full merger in which Porsche will become the group's 10th brand.

Macht took the top job a year ago -- succeeding Wendelin Wiedeking, who stepped down after losing the takeover bid that he had championed.

Macht was able to "stabilize the company in a short time and put it on a solid foundation," Wolfgang Porsche said.

Volkswagen got approval from shareholders last December to issue up to 135 million new shares over the next five years to finance an initial 49.9 percent stake in Porsche.

Volkswagen has said it wants to acquire the rest of Porsche, based in Stuttgart and the maker of the 911 and Panamera sports cars, in 2011.

Volkswagen shares were up 2.2 percent at euro71.55 ($90.15) following the announcement. Shares of Porsche Automobil Holding SE climbed 5.4 percent to euro35.55.

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