Volkswagen CEO’s gaffes recall those of BP’s chief exec

In his dealings with journalists and in other public settings, Matthias Müller seems to be emulating Tony Hayward’s tone-deaf blunders.

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It’s almost as if Volkswagen AG CEO Matthias Müller studied the performance of infamous British Petroleum CEO Tony “I’d like my life back” Hayward and said, “Yes, that’s how I’d like to respond to our own company’s crisis.”

VW, which is still reeling from an emissions-rigging scandal affecting millions of vehicles, has admitted intentionally programming its engines to fool laboratory emissions tests.

On Jan.11, Müller gave a phone interview to National Public Radio that went so poorly he had to ask for a do-over.

The first time around, the reporter asked him about the perception that his company has an ethical problem, not merely a technical one. He responded: “It was an ethical problem? I cannot understand why you say that.”

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