Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn has resigned amidst immense turmoil created by the ongoing emissions scandal.

The statement about his resignation was released on the Volkswagen global website. 68-year old Winterkorn said that his resignation is key to earning back the trust of the people even though he was unaware of personal wrongdoing in the scandal. He has served as CEO of Volkswagen AG since 2007 after taking over from Bernd Pischetsried.

The statement read: “I am shocked by the events of the past few days. Above all, I am stunned that misconduct on such a scale was possible in the Volkswagen Group. As CEO I accept responsibility for the irregularities that have been found in diesel engines and have therefore requested the Supervisory Board to agree on terminating my function as CEO of the Volkswagen Group. I am doing this in the interests of the company even though I am not aware of any wrong doing on my part. Volkswagen needs a fresh start – also in terms of personnel. I am clearing the way for this fresh start with my resignation. I have always been driven by my desire to serve this company, especially our customers and employees. Volkswagen has been, is and will always be my life. The process of clarification and transparency must continue. This is the only way to win back trust. I am convinced that the Volkswagen Group and its team will overcome this grave crisis.”

The news follows on an earlier Volkswagen announcement that they set aside 7.3 billion USD to recall affected vehicles.

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