VW’s Chairman Ferdinand Piech, 75, to Retire in 2016 image

Volkswagen announced that chairman Ferdinand Piech was granted to lead the automaker beyond the term.

Ferdinand Piech’s decision to postpone his retirement will push back the succession plan and will also bring analysts’ criticism regarding the company’s incapability of naming managers apt to lead the 12-brand car group.

“I have asked (CEO) Martin Winterkorn to launch the next (model of the Volkswagen hatchback) Golf. A new model of the Golf usually comes out every 5-7 years. At least that long I will cover Winterkorn’s back as chairman,” Piech told tabloid Bild am Sonntag.

In April 2012, shareholder voted Ferdinand Piech, 75, to be chairman for the third term, until December 2016, also the limit for Winterkorn’s contract, who in 2011 has earned more than any other German manager in the top 30 companies listed on the DAX index. Piech, currently the oldest chairman of a listed German company, has led VW for 18 years, 9 of them as CEO.

It seems that chairmen really find it hard to give up their companies, another example being Sergio Marchionne, Chrysler and Fiat’s CEO, who postponed his retirement until 2015.

“Technically speaking I can continue after 2015. I won’t be focusing on the date but I will focus on the process. The process was developed in time and I consider that my successor has to come from the heart of the company,” he said.