CEO of Volkswagen's American unit to depart

Volkswagen America CEO Michael Horn leaves company

Volkswagen announced Wednesday that Michael Horn, chief executive of Volkswagen Group of America, will leave the position amid the fallout from the automaker's U.S. emissions test scandal.

Horn will depart to "pursue other opportunities effective immediately," the company said. He first joined Volkswagen in 1990, and had been president and CEO of the American segment since January 2014.

"During his time in the U.S., Michael Horn built up a strong relationship with our national dealer body and showed exemplary leadership during difficult times for the brand," said Herbert Diess, CEO of Volkswagen brand, in a statement.

A Volkswagen AG badge sits on a Volkswagen Passat Estate automobile displayed on the forecourt of a dealership in Vienna, Austria, on Thursday, Oct. 8, 2015.
Akos Stiller | Bloomberg | Getty Images

The company said Hinrich J. Woebcken will take over as Volkswagen Group of America's interim CEO. He was recently appointed head of the North American region.

The move comes nearly six months after the automaker admitted to installing software to allow 580,000 diesel U.S. vehicles to give off excess emissions without detection. Volkswagen continues to negotiate with California and the Justice Department on possible fixes or buybacks for the diesel vehicles.

Reuters contributed to this report.