Last week, Volkswagen Chairman Ferdinand Piech celebrated his 75th birthday. Yesterday, the presents arrived. Volkswagen bought the maker of Piech’s motorcycle, Ducati. Piech’s contract as chairman was extended by 5 years. And a buxom blonde received a seat on the board: Piech’s wife Ursula.
When Piech took over as CEO of Volkswagen in 1992, he was known for his sharp tongue. He also had a reputation as a master swordsman. He mass-produced children. As a student, he maximized output of a short-lived marriage with Corina – the marriage produced 5 children. He then had an affair with the wife of his cousin Gerd Porsche. Although not married, they produced two children. There were two more children, “from another connection.”
1982, Piech is R&D chief at Audi, and someone needs to watch the now 9 children. The Porsche/Piech couple puts an ad in the paper. The 25 year old Ursula Plasser is hired as a nanny. Two years later, Ursula Plasser is Ursula Piech.
Ferdinand and Ursula enlarged the fleet of Piech children by another three for a total of 12. There are rumors that there might be more, also fuelled by Piech’s flippant remarks. Asked how many children he has, he once answered: “About twelve. You never can tell for sure.”
By some accounts, Ursula is 19 years younger than Ferdinand, by others 20. You never can tell for sure. Engineer Piech prepares her as the successor model of the Piech dynasty. Two years ago, the potent patriarch transferred his shares to two trusts. When he dies, Ursula and the children will be the beneficiaries, with Ursula at the helm and now on board at Volkswagen.