The Supervisory Board of Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft today appointed Dr. Karlheinz Blessing (58) as the Member of the Board of Management with responsibility for Human Resources and Organization effective January 1, 2016. His contract has a term of five years. Blessing is currently Chairman and Member of the Board of Management of Dillinger Hütte and DHS – Dillinger Hütte Saarstahl as well as Saarstahl AG. In his new function, Blessing succeeds Dr. Horst Neumann (66), who retired on November 30. The CEO of Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft, Matthias Müller, temporarily assumed responsibility for Human Resources and Organization during the intervening period.

"I am very pleased to be joining the Board of Management team at Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft", Blessing said following the announcement of his appointment. "Volkswagen employees can be proud of the success story they have written together over the years, and of their commitment and skill. This achievement must now be continued. I am convinced we will succeed and that Volkswagen has a great future. I will do everything in my power to bring that about."

The Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft, Hans Dieter Pötsch, underscored: "Dr. Blessing is a person of great entrepreneurial and social competence. As a labor director and chairman in the steel industry he has impressively demonstrated that a better business solution and greater social fairness do indeed make a good match. Dr. Blessing takes up the position of Board Member for Human Resources at a difficult time. His previous posts testify to his ability to master such situations extremely well. We are therefore convinced the tasks that lie ahead are in very safe hands."

Bernd Osterloh, Member of the Supervisory Board's Executive Committee and Chairman of the Group Works Council, commented: "At the head of the steel industry in Saarland, Karlheinz Blessing has shown a sense of responsibility and social justice even in difficult economic situations. He is a manager who knows his own mind and has shouldered corporate responsibility. We are firmly convinced that Karlheinz Blessing will make a valuable contribution to the Group and brand Board of Management in mastering the present difficult situation in the spirit of the Volkswagen principle that economic efficiency and secure jobs are corporate goals of equal ranking."

Dr. Karlheinz Blessing was born May 12, 1957 in Eislingen/Fils (Baden-Württemberg). He studied business administration and economics at the University of Konstanz and earned a degree in economics (Diplom-Volkswirt). Following subsequent postgraduate studies in management sciences, he completed his doctoral work in 1984 for a Doctor of Social and Economic Sciences (Dr. rer. soc.) degree. In 1984 Dr. Blessing began his career in the IG Metall Board of Management administration office, where he became Director of the Organization department in the Board of Management of IG Metall in 1986 and was given responsibility for coordinating the Board's duties. From 1991 to 1993, he was General Secretary of the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD).

In 1994 Blessing was appointed labor director and a member of the Board of Management of AG der Dillinger Hüttenwerke as well as a member of the Board of Management of Holding DHS – Dillinger Hütte Saarstahl AG. In 2011 the Supervisory Board named him Chairman and Member of the Board of Management of Dillinger Hütte as well as of DHS – Dillinger Hütte Saarstahl AG. In 2007 the Supervisory Board of Saarstahl AG appointed Dr. Blessing as labor director and Board Member for Human Resources for Saarstahl AG. Since 2011, Dr. Blessing has been responsible for the Saarschmiede division in the Board of Management of Saarstahl AG. In 2012 he was appointed as new Chairman of the Board of Management of Saarstahl AG for a five-year term. Blessing is also among the executives of SHS – Stahl-Holding-Saar.