VW spokesman leaving

Klaus Kocks, Volkswagen AG’s often acerbic chief spokesman, will leave the company Jan. 1 “by mutual understanding,” the company said Friday, Oct. 26.

Kocks, a member of the VW management board, was the German automaker’s point man in battling accusations by General Motors that VW purchasing chief J. Ignacio Lopez had stolen thousands of confidential documents from the U.S. automaker.

During the four-year battle, which ended in a 1997 settlement of a GM lawsuit and a VW countersuit, Kocks became known for his strident remarks in defending the company. He was rewarded by VW CEO Ferdinand Piech with an appointment to the management board.

But Piech will be succeeded by Bernd Pischetsrieder in April.

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