The ruling panel of Volkswagen AG’s supervisory board is expected to hold a crucial meeting on Friday with the aim of discussing and trying to amend the surprising leadership crisis that hit the automaker recently.
According to the two persons that have knowledge of the matter, who discussed with Reuters under the condition of anonymity – not being allowed to talk to the media about sensitive subjects – the steering committee needs to try and resolve the crisis started by Chairman Ferdinand Piech – which publicly panned chief executive officer Martin Winterkorn in a surprising and rare attack, saying he lost faith in his strategy. The comments started a massive structural crisis at the largest carmaker in Europe, also the second-biggest in the world, a close rival to Japan’s Toyota. Last Friday, he talked to German magazine Der Spiegel and told its representatives he was distancing from the CEO. The board panel has six ruling members: VW Chairman Ferdinand Piech, works council leader Bernd Osterloh and two other labor chiefs, as well as Lower Saxony Prime Minister Stephan Weil and Porsche SE Chairman Wolfgang Porsche.
Additionally, other sources also reported to Reuters that Volkswagen’s controlling family is also set to hold a meeting these days to discuss the same subjects. Piech, 77, is set to reunite with cousin Wolfgang Porsche and other family members, ahead of the planned panel by the top members of the controlling board. Piech hasn’t found support in his attitude against Winterkorn from other family members, while some shareholders and labor leaders also showed their support towards Winterkorn for Volkswagen’s rapid pace of growth.