AUBURN HILLS, MI: Recent revelations spilled to the press by
loose-lipped top managers at Volkswagen have created nightmares for PR
officers in the company's US and German headquarters, causing them to
The problem came to a head last week when recent speculations about a
corporate restructuring were leaked to a number of major publications
before the information departments knew anything about such issues.
"We are having to deal with a lot of rumors and some offhand comments
that are being made by upper management that tend to put (stories) on
the front pages of financial publications like The Financial Times, but
aren't wholly based on official decisions," US company spokesperson Tony
Fouladpour told PRWeek.
Fouladpour complained that he handles five to six media calls a day from
reporters who have gotten wind of supposedly private management
discussions on possible corporate restructuring.
The automaker's chairman for the past eight years, Ferdinand Piech of
the Porsche family, will retire in April, fueling speculation of
wholesale changes in the company's management, brands and long-term
problems with shareholder relations.