Ursula Piech, the wife of VW chairman Ferdinand Piech, is ready to join Audi’s supervisory board.
It’s been one year since Ursula Piech has joined VW’s 20-member board and now she is up for election to join Audi’s supervisory board on May 16th at the annual shareholders’ meeting. This is part of the Piech and Porsche families to solidify their sway over VW, Europe’s biggest automaker. The two families own 90% of Porsche, which in turn owns a majority of VW’s common stock.
Ferdinand Piech was VW’s chairman for 10 years after he served as CEO for 9 years. In 2010 he picked his wife to be the deputy head of two companies which control his stakes in Porsche and VW. His wife, who is 55 years old, would take control of the trusts after her husband’s death on two conditions: that the couple had stayed together and that she did not remarry after Piech’s death.
“It’s a good reminder to investors about what this company is – the personal fiefdom of the Porsche and Piëch families,” said Max Warburton, analyst at Sanford Bernstein.
It seems that it becomes a tradition spouses to take up powerful positions at German companies: Friede Springer, widow of Axel Springer, is deputy chairwoman of the media group, while Liz Mohn is a member of media group Bertelsmann’s supervisory board.