Ursula Piech, the wife of Volkswagen AG’s supervisory board chairman Ferdinand Piech, will be nominated to join the German auto maker’s supervisory board in April.
Mr. Piech will turn 75 on April 17th, two days before the shareholder meeting and he’s up for re-election. In 2010 he put his VW inheritance into two trusts over which he has complete control so long as he lives. 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.
Mrs. Piech knows VW inside out, she is a familiar face to VW-watchers and always appears at Mr Piëch’s side at VW functions and car shows. 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.