* Recommends clearing management at May 10 AGM
* Damage claims against individuals still possible
* Audi supervisory board to question Stadler on Weds
(Adds detail on board meeting and background)
BERLIN, March 28 Volkswagen's
supervisory board gave its backing on Tuesday to Audi's chief
executive and other senior managers, after raids by German
prosecutors related to the emissions scandal.
The 20-strong supervisory board recommended that
shareholders should ratify the actions in 2016 of VW group's
nine top executives, including Audi CEO Rupert
Stadler, when they hold their annual general meeting on May 10,
The supervisory board has the power to appoint and dismiss
executives and take decisions on far-reaching matters such as
factory closures. Representation on the supervisory board is
shared between major stakeholders and labour representatives.
The board "is expressing its confidence in the entire board
of management's ability to successfully push ahead with the
extensive realignment of the group," it said.
Such shareholder votes are common at German companies, but
in the wake of the emissions scandal the recommendation to sign
off on Stadler's decisions was far from
The move by VW's controlling panel to exonerate Stadler and
fellow top managers at VW may lessen the pressure on the CEO who
will be questioned by Audi's supervisory board on Wednesday
about raids by German prosecutors, a source at Audi told
VW said its recommendation was based on a comprehensive
inquiry by law firm Gleiss Lutz, drawing on the findings of U.S.
law firm Jones Day which VW and Audi had commissioned to
investigate the emissions cheating after it broke on Sept. 18,
But Europe's largest automaker made clear that its
recommendation to clear top executives from responsibility for
their actions does not imply waiving possible damage claims
The management and supervisory boards also recommended
discharging the entire supervisory board from liability for
actions taken in 2016.
(Reporting by Andreas Cremer; Editing by Michael Nienaber/Ruth