The ousted former Volkswagen Ag chairman Ferdinand Piech and Porsche family patriarch skipped attendance at a shareholder meeting of the carmaker’s controlling clan recently, triggering further speculation about his future involvement in the family-run businesses.
Piech sat on the Iron Throne of the German carmaker, the second largest in the world and the biggest in Europe, for more than 20 years but was forced out last month by its colleagues on the automaker’s supervisory board. The family patriarch tried to exert his influence again after comments that he was turning his back away from VW AG chief executive officer Martin Winterkorn in a bid to oust him from the company and make sure he would not succeed him in the chairman function. But his pledge went unanswered, as other VW shareholders and even members of Piech’s family supported the latter.
Now Piech skipped a shareholders’ meeting of Porsche SE, the holding company that is majority controlled by the Porsche and Piech families and which, in turn, owns 51 percent of VW AG’s common stock. The matters are further complicated by Piech’s own stake of 13.6 percent of Porsche SE. Analysts believe Piech’s return to the discussion floor could be key as the Porsche and Piech families have a long standing agreement to vote unanimously when it comes to crucial strategies. While his return could only be possible if management changes are made at the carmaker, Winterkorn – also Porsche SE chief executive – has said on occasions he is willing and ready to continue the long standing cooperation with Piech.