Volkswagen is set to quickly find a replacement for Ferdinand Piech, who has quit after 13 years as the automaker’s chairman following a public feud with the brand’s CEO, Martin Winterkorn.
At Volkswagen AG’s annual shareholder meeting that took place today, Winterkorn said that “The executive committee and the supervisory board are working hard to swiftly resolve the remaining issues with regard to the composition of the supervisory bodies in the best possible manner.” Winterkorn, who received support from VW’s works council and stakeholder Lower Saxony, commented on the public showdown that took place between him and Piech and the brand’s future strategy “It is good that we have returned to calmer water. We can concentrate fully on our business.”
Even if he is no longer working for Volkswagen, Piech, 78, publicly stated that he did not agree for him and his wife to be replaced on the board by two of his nieces. Moreover, according to the German newspaper, Bild, Piech considered that the best two options were the former head of Ford Motor’s Premier Automotive Group, Wolfgang Reitzle, and former Siemens manager, Brigitte Ederer.
Frank Biller, an analyst from LBBW in Stuttgart, Germany, talked about Piech’s legacy and his position within the family as he is the grandson of VW Beetle creator: “”It’s important to find a face-saving solution, and that’s not very easy. It’s a deadlock to an extent.”
Half of the 10 seats on the investor side of Volkswagen’s board is represented by the Porsche-Piech family that controls 50.7% of the voting shares. The investor side is represented by shareholders, while the other seats are taken by worker representatives. At the moment, Piech still has a seat on the board of Porsche Automobil Holding SE.
By Gabriela Florea