Impact: Volkswagen Chairman Ferdinand Piech resigns image

Volkswagen AG chairman Ferdinand Piech, one of the most powerful executives in the auto industry has resigned on Saturday after a power struggle with Martin Winterkorn – the CEO of VW AG, the parent company of the Volkswagen Group.

On the same time, his wife Ursula Piech, also a member of the board resigned today from all positions.

“Prof. Dr. Ferdinand K. Piëch has resigned from his position as Chairman of the Board and all of its supervisory board mandates within the Volkswagen Group with immediate effect. Mrs Ursula Piëch resigned from the Supervisory Board in all Volkswagen Group with immediate effect.

The conduct of the affairs of the Supervisory Board will temporarily assume the Deputy Chairman Berthold Huber. “ the official statement says.

According to the board members “there is no longer the trust necessary for a successful cooperation”.  Deputy Chairman of the Supervisory Board Berthold Huber will temporary replace Piech’s position until a new chief is elected..

Piëch, a grandson of Ferdinand Porsche and talented automotive engineer started his career at Porsche before leaving for Audi was one of the most powerful executives in Germany. He moved to VW in 1993 where he became Chairman of the Board of Management, succeeding Carl Hahn.  At that time the company was in a very bad shape (only 3 months away from becoming bankrupt) – but because of his management style, Piëch was able to save the automaker. Under his rule VW acquired Lamborghini, Bentley, Ducati and restarted Bugatti.

He is currently married to Ursula and has fathered 12 children with four different women.

However, “the battle is by no means over,” a car industry expert Ferdiand Dudenhotfer, told Der Spiegel on Friday.

VW is on course to overtake Toyota as the world’s largest car-maker. It includes 12 brands – and according to some experts – it has become so big and complex that it is almost ungovernable.