Mueller had "signalled he was open to play a part in the changes" in conversations with supervisory board chief Hans Dieter Poetsch, the company said in a statement. Predecessor Martin Winterkorn fell victim to the company's scandal over cars rigged to cheat on diesel emissions tests.
"In a phase of profound upheaval in the automotive industry, it is vital for Volkswagen to pick up speed and make an unmistakable mark in e-mobility, the digitalization of the automobile and transportation as well as new mobility services", the new CEO added.
He was replaced by Matthias Mueller, a Volkswagen stalwart who stepped up to guide the company through the storm-tossed waters that surrounded it because of the diesel cheating mess.
Herbert Diess, the head of VW's namesake brand, will become chief executive officer as well as overseeing technology across the organization, the company said Thursday in a statement.
"Bringing Herbert Diess' CEO nomination forward is the next step in transforming VW into a more modern and effective company", Evercore ISI analyst Arndt Ellinghorst said in a note.More news: Child abuse prevention honored Monday
Other changes before the board include a public stock market listing of VW's truck and bus division, a management board seat for a labour representative and a reorganisation of its 12 brands into four categories, sources said.
Without citing its sources, Spiegel said Karlheinz Blessing, who was appointed management board member with responsibility for human resources on January 1, 2016, would be replaced by Gunnar Kilian, secretary general of VW's works council. He and Oliver Blume, the 49-year-old head of the Porsche brand, will join the group's management board.
Including Mr Mueller, VW's management board totals nine people, with responsibilities ranging from purchasing to legal affairs to financing and human resources. He then took charge of development, but was ultimately passed over for the CEO job, when the Munich-based company picked Harald Krueger in December 2014.
Since the scandal broke in September, 2015, numerous company's top executives have been tossed overboard. That spurred his move to Volkswagen.
Officially, the line from the company is simply that a change at the top of the company may be coming as part of a larger overhaul of management, but a number of unofficial sources (as quoted by Handelsblatt) have said Diess is likely to be appointed the new CEO soon.