Tesla approached current Volkswagen Group boss Dr. Herbert Diess about coming on as CEO in 2015, when Diess was transitioning from BMW. Diess is a long-time admirer of (and early investor in) the California-based EV builder.
According to Business Insider (German), Elon Musk himself had an employment contract drawn up and ready to go for the would-be VW CEO as he was preparing to depart as head of product development at BMW. This was a year after Daimler sold its stock in Tesla and two years after VW board members had considered purchasing Tesla outright. Diess has not yet commented on the decision being made public.
Rather than move to America to head up Tesla, Diess remained in Europe. He joined the VW AG board in July, 2015, and was named head of the Volkswagen car brand just months before the Dieselgate emissions cheating scandal became public. He was was appointed Chairman of the VW Board of Management in April, 2018.