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Volkswagen compliance chief to receive 12 million euro payout

German media has reported that Christine Hohmann-Dennhardt will receive a payout of more than 12 million euros ($12.8 million). The former judge joined the embattled carmaker just 13 months ago, but left unexpectedly.

Speaking to the German daily "Süddeutsche Zeitung," Hohmann-Dennhardt defended the payout sum, saying her contract, which was to run until the end of 2018, had been fulfilled.

"The fact that the contract has been fulfilled means this is a completely normal process," she said, adding that "she has nothing to hide."

Hohmann-Dennhardt, a former senior judge on Germany's Federal Constitutional Court, had joined Volkswagen's board of management only at the beginning of last year. As head of integrity and legal affairs, she was tasked with cleaning up the carmarker's damaged image in the wake of the Dieselgate emissions scandal.

However, on Thursday VW announced her unexpected departure, citing "differences in their understanding of responsibilities and future operating structures within the function she leads."

Reports suggest that she had clashed with the company's top brass over her exact role. Senior heads, eager to draw a line under the Dieselgate saga, reportedly did not warm to her efforts to shed greater light on how the scandal unfolded.

It is reported that the 12 million euro sum reflects her agreed earnings for the entire length of her three-year contract, as well as entitlements due from her previous role at rival carmaker Daimler.

Announcing Hohmann-Dennhardt's resignation, VW thanked her for her "outstanding expertise" and for achieving "important milestones." Those milestones include the settlement of civil and criminal litigation in the US, as well as a complete overhaul of all internal guidelines and procedures.

VW said it would "continue to press forward with changes to its way of thinking and working".

Hohmann-Dennhardt's replacement, VW's current head of auditing, Hiltrud Werner, will take over the role on Wednesday.

dm/jr (dpa, AFP)

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